Divorce is a significant life transition and a serious legal matter with important consequences for your future. If you’re going through a divorce, it’s crucial to carefully consider all relevant aspects and make decisions in the best interests of you and your children.
By seeking the guidance of a skilled divorce lawyer, you can navigate the complexities of divorce proceedings and make informed decisions that serve your best interests and those of your children.
The Terms of Your Divorce
No two divorces are exactly alike. While each divorce follows its own path, they all address common issues, including:
- Child Custody Arrangements: When children are involved, determining custody arrangements takes priority. If you and your spouse can reach mutual agreements, it’s beneficial to avoid court intervention. You have the opportunity to be flexible and creative with the schedule, considering your children’s unique needs and concerns. The court will generally approve arrangements that work for your family.
- Division of Marital Property: Dividing marital assets is a crucial aspect of any divorce and can often be contentious. Depending on the state, the court divides marital property based on what it deems fair under the circumstances. Marital property generally includes assets acquired during the marriage, except for gifts or inheritances received individually. Separate property, such as premarital assets, should remain separate.
- Child Support Payments: Child support is determined by state guidelines to ensure both parents contribute to the financial support of their children. It typically involves monthly payments from the noncustodial parent to the custodial parent, aiming to cover the day-to-day expenses of raising the children.
- Alimony (Spousal Maintenance): Alimony is awarded when the court determines that one spouse has a financial need after the divorce and the other spouse has the resources to provide support. It is often temporary and aims to help the financially dependent spouse transition into a new life.
Regrettably, it’s a common occurrence for homeowners and contractors to forego formal written agreements, instead relying on bids or invoices. This practice has resulted in numerous lawsuits due to misunderstandings that could have been avoided if the parties had clarified their expectations from the outset. To prevent such conflicts, it’s crucial to include specific construction tasks in writing, written change orders for any work beyond the original contract, an attorney’s fees clause, payment dates and schedules, and a total project cost not to exceed. If you’re a homeowner and a contractor took your deposit but failed to complete or poorly executed the work, you can seek legal action against them and their bond if available.
On the other hand, if you’re a contractor and a homeowner refuses to pay you for your agreed-upon work, you can file a lien on the property where the work was carried out to secure payment.
Understanding Child Custody Arrangements
Child custody arrangements involve distinguishing between legal custody and physical custody. Legal custody pertains to important decision-making responsibilities, such as healthcare, education, extracurricular activities, and religious upbringing. Generally, both parents share legal custody, but exceptions exist. Physical custody determines where and when the children reside. It can be joint, where the children spend significant time with both parents, or sole, where one parent has primary custody and the other has visitation rights.
Navigating the Division of Marital Property
Dividing marital property requires careful consideration. Determining what is considered marital property versus separate property can be complex. For example, if one spouse brought a business into the marriage and kept it separate, it is likely considered separate property. However, any increase in the business’s value during the marriage may be subject to division. Understanding these distinctions is crucial, as complications often arise.
Child Support Payments for Financial Support
Child support is calculated according to state guidelines to ensure both parents contribute to their children’s financial needs. The noncustodial parent typically makes monthly payments to the custodial parent, helping cover the costs associated with raising the children on a day-to-day basis.
Alimony to Address Financial Needs
In certain cases, alimony is awarded when one spouse requires financial support post-divorce and the other spouse has the means to provide it, usually for a temporary period. The court examines the financial circumstances of both spouses to determine the appropriate amount and duration of alimony.