If you are about to begin the divorce process, the way things go depends on you. Certain hot-button issues come up again and again, and these are probably things that a couple should focus on as they settle things. Read on to find out more about these potentially contentious issues and be ready to be flexible and accommodating.
Decisions about how much support is paid and who owes it is the province of the law more than the parents. Each state has guidelines that evaluate the income of both parents to decide who will pay. The median income of the state of residence governs how much is owed, but it's also based on the income of the parents. In most cases, the parent who retains full physical custody of the child is paid child support.
Usually, both parents have legal custody of the child. Many parents decide between two main types of physical custody: sole and shared. With sole custody, one parent is the sole physical custodian, while the other gets visitation privileges. With shared custody, about 50 percent of the child's time is spent with one parent and then the other. Visitation is not an issue with shared custody.
Marital debts include any debts undertaken since the date of the marriage. In some states, the name on the debt is irrelevant since both parties are half responsible for it. The marital debt laws of your state determine which ones belong to which party. Make a list of all debts and talk with a divorce lawyer about which ones you must take ownership of.
Just like debt, marital property includes things attained after the date of the marriage. Exempt are gifts, inheritances, and other things. All joint property is to be divided according to the laws of the state. You are free, however, to divide things as you like, as long as it's fair.
Alimony (Spousal Support)
Though not as common as it was, some spouses still deserve support. The paying spouse has to have the financial resources to pay it and the receiving spouse must be able to show why they need it. In some cases, rehabilitative alimony covers the party that needs more job training or education before they can pay for their own living.
For more information about any of the above hot-button issues, speak to your divorce lawyer.