When you decide to end your marriage, there are a variety of issues you must settle before the court grants you a divorce. It is essential to consider these factors prior to any court date.
It can make the whole process easier if you and your spouse can come to an agreement before you go before a judge. Here is a look at the issues you must tackle.
Child custody and support
Child custody can be a contentious situation. The court will always scrutinize any deal you make to ensure it is what is best for the children.
You will need to specify legal and physical custody arrangements. Legal means decision-making power, whereas physical is who has possession of the children. Also, make sure to iron out special situations, such as vacations and holidays. You should aim for an equal amount of time with the children if possible.
When it comes to child support, the court will have the most say. You usually need to follow state guidelines unless you can come to an agreement that is fair and ensures the children have financial support from both of you.
Second only to issues involving the children is dividing your property. You do not have to divide personal property, which is that you owned prior to marriage, got through inheritance or received as gifts. You must fairly divide all other assets. Also, note that debts are part of property division.
Not every divorce will result in the allocation of spousal support, but it is something to consider if there is an imbalance between your incomes.
All the decisions you must make can be overwhelming, but it is in your best interest to discuss them with your spouse and try to agree instead of allowing the judge to do it for you.