If you have never been divorced before, it can be a scary and stressful undertaking. What will happen next? Will you get custody of the kids? Who will pay child support? Will you get to stay in the marital home?
Going from married life to single life is a lot more complicated than it seems. There are assets to divide. There may be children involved. There are financial issues to consider. How will your divorce affect taxes? How do you handle all of this? What can you expect?
The good news is that you do not have to handle a divorce on your own. Most divorcing couples seek the legal assistance of a divorce lawyer, and for good reason. There are numerous elements involved in a divorce. When you divorce your spouse, you are essentially suing them. This creates a complicated legal situation that can be greatly helped with a legal professional.
When you make an appointment with a divorce lawyer, you will likely have many questions about the process. It is a good idea to make a list of questions ahead of time and have all the necessary documents in place. This saves time and money on your part. Read on to learn more about the topics you should discuss with your attorney.
Obviously, this will not apply if you and your spouse have no kids together, but if you do, this will likely be at the forefront of your mind. Parents should always keep the best interests of their children in mind when going through the divorce process.
There are two types of child custody to consider – physical and legal. Legal custody refers to who makes the decisions for the child. Typically, this falls on both parents. Physical custody refers to whom the children live with. If it is a joint custody situation, the children will live with both parents. If one parent has sole custody, the child will live with one parent only. If this is the case, then you will also want to discuss visitation arrangements with your lawyer. How often will the other parent be able to see the children? How long will visitations last? Will overnight visitations be allowed?
Many parents seek custody as a way to seek revenge against the other spouse. Children should live with the parent who is deemed the most fit and capable of caring for the children in the best way possible.
Child support is a hot-button issue. Both parents are obligated to pay child support. Each state has guidelines in place to calculate the percentage of income that the noncustodial parent must pay.
If a couple has no children, then their main issue will likely be asset division. Items accumulated during the marriage are subject to division in a divorce. This includes homes and other properties, furniture, cars, money, collections, and other personal assets. It also includes intangible items such as businesses, professional licenses and degrees, stocks, bonds, and retirement accounts.
It is also important to understand that debts must be divided as well. A person could be forced to pay the debt on a spouse’s credit card or loan. Make sure to discuss your situation with your lawyer so he or she can help you obtain the best outcome possible. You may be entitled to assets you did not even know about.
Those who divorce may or may not be eligible for spousal support, or alimony. Florida is fairly lenient when it comes to alimony. The state offers six types of alimony, based on a couple’s situation. Alimony could be temporary or permanent. Many factors are considered, including a person’s age, health, standard of living, employability and the length of the marriage. In any case, alimony ends when either spouse dies or the recipient remarries.
Even if you have been a homemaker the entire marriage, you may be eligible for alimony. Discuss this situation with your lawyer.
Documents to Have Ready
In order to help you with your divorce and achieve the best outcome possible, your lawyer will need as much information as possible. Don not keep any secrets; the more you share, the better. You should bring various documents to your initial consultation. These include proof of income for you and your spouse (bank account statements, pay stubs, etc.), any prenuptial agreements, statements for retirement accounts or pensions, wills, trusts, utility bills, mortgage information, credit card statements, and loan documents.
You should also bring proof of any other bills (such as school tuition, daycare, or medical bills), any health or life insurance policies, car insurance and any appraisals. You will also want to make a list of any personal property acquired before the marriage, as well as a list of marital property that is subject to division.
As you can see, there is a lot to think about. That is why divorces are something that should be entered into carefully and with the help of an experienced lawyer. The process is extensive and complicated, but having the right lawyer on your side can simplify it.
Seek Legal Help
Divorces are complicated. Very few are painless. If you are looking to end your marriage, it is best to be prepared. It is important to have an advocate on your side who will fight for your rights and help you get the outcome you desire.
A divorce can be difficult to handle on your own. Get help from Palm Beach divorce attorney Scott J. Stadler. He can help finalize your divorce in the quickest and easiest way possible so you can move on your life. To get started, schedule a consultation by calling (954) 346-6464.