If you are considering divorce, you should prepare before you decide to consult a local divorce attorney. You must first determine if you want to stay in your home or allow your spouse to remain in the home. Shared assets must be divided. You should also decide about custody if there are children involved. Preparation is the key to making an unpleasant experience tolerable and equitable.
Your home and other assets during divorce
How assets will be divided will depend on several factors. Some states have specific requirements on how assets should be shared, but that pertains to the value of the assets, not individual items. Your home may be your most valuable asset, and if you want to remain in your home, you shouldn't leave when you decide to divorce. Remaining in your home may be the determining factor that will allow to stay if your spouse challenges you in court.
Of course, if you want to remain in the home, you may be required to pay your spouse for their share of the equity in the home. You should be certain that you can afford to reimburse your spouse as well as make mortgage payments before you decide to remain in your home.
You should also make a list of assets such as income, property, vehicles, bank and retirement accounts, and other forms of equity. This information will be essential in determining asset division as well as child support.
Custody of children after divorce
You will have three choices to consider when you decide on child custody:
- Full custody. You have sole physical and legal custody of the children, with all parental rights and responsibilities.
- Joint Custody. Physical and legal custody is shared equally between both parents.
- Visitation. Your spouse is awarded custody, and you have either scheduled or unscheduled visits with the children, depending on local statutes or the decision of the court.
If you decide to pursue custody of your children, you should be the primary caregiver during the marriage, and remain in the home with your children, even if your spouse refuses to leave. Your behavior during the divorce proceedings may also affect your chances of success. Avoid romantic or sexual entanglements, as well as sharing of personal information on social media. You must live the image that you wish to project to the court.
A child custody lawyer can be a huge asset when both parents seek custody. Don't assume that your spouse will be reasonable or fair when your children are involved. Child support may be another area of disagreement. A lawyer who specializes in child support cases can assure that the custodial parent is awarded sufficient support, or that the non-custodial parent isn't forced to pay unreasonable payments. A skilled divorce lawyer like one from Madison Law Firm PLLC may be the most important factor in defending your rights during a divorce.