Common Divorce Legal Issues

Divorce is expensive, emotionally exhausting and one of the worst things you can go through in your life.  You are confused about the common divorce legal issues and how you should deal with them and you aren’t quite sure what to do next.  This is where a good attorney comes in, their job is not only to protect your interests but to also guide you through the legal process.  There are really only four legal issues that apply in a divorce and not all of them may even apply to you, let’s have a look at them.

Dividing of Property

Almost every marriage has some form of marital property, be it the family home or the car you share.  During the marriage chances are you have accumulated assets along with debts.  Property can include joint business holdings, cars, homes, retirement accounts and joint savings.  You may also have joint credit card debts, mortgages, lines of credit, car payments and medical bills.  All of these must be accounted for and divided up evenly.  Your attorney and the courts can help you find a fair settlement of both debts and assets.  Here is a closer look at how that works.

Spousal Support

You probably are familiar with the term “alimony” that is spousal support and it is awarded far less now than in the past.  However if there is a large gap between incomes of the spouses or in a long term marriage then you may found spousal support awarded.  Often spousal support is awarded for a finite period of time allowing for the other party to get back on their feet.

Custody of Minor Children

Custody consists of physical and legal custody.  Legal custody is about issues relating to medical decisions, education and religious upbringing.  Physical custody is about where the child lives and the day to day care.  Many parents may share legal custody while one has physical custody.  However it is more common than ever for parents to share physical custody.  There are parenting schedules where the child spends time with both parents, often one parent has custody during the week and the other gets custody on weekends and holidays.

Child Support

Child support is often based on a straight forward formula that is based on the non-custodial parents’ income.  It can also depend on how much time the child spends with each parent.  Your state probably has a guideline that can tell you the exact amount you can expect to pay or receive based on income.  Factors that are considered are basic support for day to day expenses, food, clothing, etc.  It can also outline medical costs and child care expenses.

These are the most common issues you will face going through a divorce but that doesn’t make them any less painful.

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Getting the Best Child Support Deal

Getting the Best Child Support Deal

The divorce rate in America is still hovering at near 50% and caught up in that statistic are a large number of children and single parents who are paying child support.  The amount you pay for child support is typically based on the income of the non-custodial parent.  Getting the best child support deal will depend on several factors including income and physical custody.  As difficult as the situation may be there are some things that you need to keep in mind while custody and child support are being decided.

Always Have an Attorney

An attorney is there not only to make sure that you are protected financially but also to ensure that you have access to you children.  Don’t go with any attorney either, find one that specializes in child custody cases.

You are Not in Charge, the Court is

Many divorced fathers are frustrated about sending their ex money particularly when they are not convinced the funds are being used in a manner they wish.  Once you make your child support payment you have no say in how the money is being used. If you don’t agree with how the money is being spent then you need to document your concerns and take them up with your attorney, withholding child support payments can get you in a ton of trouble including losing your license or ending up in jail.

Pay on Time No Matter What

Even if you are trying to negotiate a reduced amount of your child support always pay on time regardless of the legal situation.  The court is more inclined to be lenient to the parents who show good faith.  Even if you cannot afford the entire amount then pay as much as you can on the due date.  Falling behind can result in severe penalties.  Not only that not paying creates an even more hostile situation between yourself and former spouse that can blowback onto your children.

Keep Records

If you are paying your ex directly rather than the court, then make sure that you keep track of everything and always get receipts.  That includes receipts for school fees you have paid or doctor’s visits.  If you ever have to go back to court then all of that will matter.

Do Not Involve Your Children

Kids have a hard enough time dealing with divorce as it is and it is your job as a parent to make their lives easier not worse.  Do not drag your kids into the middle of a financial disagreement with your ex.  Do not blame the other parent for financial issues this is not the children’s burden to bear, it is the responsibility of the adults in the family.

Child support and custody is a highly emotional issue and it can be difficult to be rational about the situation, but getting the best child support deal means you have to.  Follow these tips to help you get through one of your most difficult situations.

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