Divorce is a decision that is made after months of trying to make things work. Divorce is very complicated. It can take a bit of your emotional energy and effort to complete. For some people, the fear of the process is what holds them back from filling a divorce. With the right education and preparation, the process can be easy to confront. Every divorce is unique and it comes with its own questions and concerns.
Here are four topics you need to cover with your Lawyer:
· Division of property
Marital property refers to the property that the couple acquired during marriage. It includes cars, jewelry, houses and furniture. The person who will own the property depends on whether you live in a common-law property state or community property state.
In the community property state, property that has been acquired during marriage is divided between both spouses regardless of the name that appears on the title deed. Examples of these states include California, Texas, Washington, and Arizona. In the common law property state, the property is given to the spouse who purchased it under his or her name. If both names appear on the title deed, this means that each couple owns a half interest.
Before you meet with the attorney it is essential to provide a list of all the marital properties, when it was acquired, and whose name appears on the title deed.
· Spousal support
It is not uncommon for one partner to earn more than the other. The imbalance of income is considered when getting a divorce. Spousal support helps to better balance the couple’s income. This type of support is ordered especially when one partner has different income level. It enables both spouses to maintain the standard of living that they enjoyed during marriage.
In the past different factors were considered to determine whether to award spousal support. They include the level of education of your partner, the duration of your marriage and the partner’s health. The law has changed and the only consideration is the income of the spouse.
· Child custody
Child custody is one of the most challenging issues when getting a divorce. Depending on the state either physical or legal custody can be awarded depending on the interest. Legal custody is the ability to make critical decisions about the child’s health, education and welfare. Legal custody can be joint meaning both parents can be involved in making such decisions or it can be sole whereby only one parent can make the decision. Physical custody refers to where the child will reside. It can be joint or sole. Joint custody is where both parents spend equal time with the child while sole custody is where one parent lives with the child.
Before the court can decide on child custody they consider the mental and physical health of the parents, the home environment, and the relationship between the child and the parent. Moreover, the court also examines the level of cooperation and communication between the parents. The number of children, the age of the children and where the children want to live is also considered. Custody arrangements can change as the child grows.
· Child Support
When parents get a divorce they are required to provide financial support for their children. Child support is an obligation for both parents. How much each partner is supposed to contribute is either determined by the court or established between the spouse in a written agreement.
Depending on the state there are specific guidelines to calculate child support. Parents incur fixed, controlled and variable cost in the care of their children. Fixed cost include housing related expenses. Variable cost is incurred when the child is with the parent. For example, food and transportation cost. Controlled cost when the child is in custody of the primary caregiver. Such cost includes clothing, entertainment and miscellaneous expenses.
When you and the lawyer meet it is important to bring all the documentation including the title deed, post nuptial and pre-nuptial agreement, will, trust, financial statements and bank statements, mortgage statement, tax returns and credit card statement. Ensure that you are open to your attorney.