Courtroom Or Kitchen? Choose The Best Place To Deal With Your Divorce
When it comes to divorce, the cost and complexity depend on where the divorce is settled. Divorcing couples have the opportunity to influence the location and the outcome of the divorce. Read on and find out what can be done at the kitchen table to avoid the courtroom.
Know Your Issues
As soon as you realize that divorce is in your future, talk to a divorce lawyer. They can help you understand what is at stake when it comes to common divorce issues listed below. Your lawyer might even provide you with some worksheets to use while you work out issues.
Children: This covers child custody, visitation, support, health insurance, and more. You will need to decide on both legal and physical custody of the children. In most cases, legal custody is provided to both parents unless one parent is unfit. Physical custody can be shared evenly or with one parent providing primary physical custody while the other parent uses a visitation schedule.
Marital property: You might want to make an inventory of your belongings, divide them up, and value them. Marital property includes assets attained during the marriage. Excluded are items owned prior to the marriage, gifts, gambling winnings, and inheritances.
Marital debts: As with marital property, so goes marital debts.
Spousal support: Not all spouses will need or want support (or alimony). In many cases, spousal support may be appropriate if one spouse will experience a severe drop in their standard of living due to the divorce, is ill, or is elderly. Spousal support can be temporary, such as just during the separation period; rehabilitative, such as while training and employment are acquired; or permanent.
Do Not Try This at Home
While an agreement worked out between the parties is best, some situations are not appropriate for this type of divorce. If your situation sounds like any of the ones below, take the traditional route and let the courts manage the procedures:
- An abusive, controlling spouse.
- A spouse that is unable to make legal decisions because of incarceration, illness, or incapacity.
- A spouse that may try to hide assets.
- When the marital assets are of an extremely high value.
If you can agree on things at the kitchen table, your lawyer will put them into writing and the judge will very likely approve all provisions that meet the legal and fairness requirements. Contact a divorce lawyer for more information.