No one enters into a marriage expecting to get divorced. However, the unfortunate reality is that nearly 50% of all marriages in the United States end in divorce. If you face a divorce, it is important to be aware of the various legal issues that can arise during the process. Here are six common legal issues to be aware of if you are going through a divorce:
1. Child Custody and Visitation
If you have children, one of the most important things to consider during your divorce is who will have primary custody of the children and how visitation will be arranged. The court will always make a decision regarding custody and visitation in the best interests of the child or children involved.
Many factors must be considered when making these decisions, and it is important to seek the advice of an experienced attorney. Custody can be either joint or sole, and it is essential to consider the child’s best interests when making this decision. Visitation schedules can vary depending on the custody arrangement, and it is important to create a schedule that is both convenient and realistic.
2. Child Support
If one parent has primary custody of the child, the other parent will be required to pay child support. The amount of paid child support is determined by various factors, including each parent’s income, the number of children involved, and the custody arrangement.
It is important to note that child support is not optional, and failure to pay it can have serious legal consequences. How much one parent will pay in child support to the other parent will be based on several factors, including each parent’s income, the number of children involved, and the parenting arrangement that has been established.
In some cases, one spouse may be required to pay alimony to the other spouse. Alimony is typically only ordered in marriages that have lasted for a significant amount of time, and it is usually based on factors such as the length of the marriage, each spouse’s income, and each spouse’s ability to support themselves.
If you are ordered to pay alimony, it is important to make sure that you make the payments on time and in full. If you fail to do so, you could face serious legal consequences. No matter what, it is important to seek the advice of an attorney if you are ordered to pay alimony.
4. Division of Assets
Another important legal issue to consider is the division of assets in a divorce. In most states, marital property is divided evenly between the two spouses. However, some states use a system of community property, which means that all property acquired during the marriage belongs to both spouses equally.
It is important to be aware of the laws in your state regarding the division of assets. This is especially important if you have significant assets, such as a home, a retirement account, or a business. An experienced attorney can help you understand the laws in your state and ensure that your assets are divided fairly.
5. Debt Allocation
Debts incurred during a marriage are considered joint debts even if only one spouse signed for them. This means that both spouses are equally responsible for repaying these debts even if they get divorced. The court will decide how these debts should be allocated between the divorcing spouses.
You should be prepared to discuss your debts with your attorney and devise a plan for how they will be repaid. This is especially important if you have a lot of debt or if you want to keep certain assets, such as your home.
Sometimes, divorcing couples can end up owing taxes if they are not careful about how they file their taxes after the divorce. This is because the IRS views divorced couples as two single individuals. This means that each spouse must file their taxes separately and report only their own income and assets.
If you are getting divorced, it is important to seek a tax attorney’s advice to ensure that you do not end up owing taxes. This is especially important if you have a complex financial situation.
Divorce can complicate your life in many ways beyond the emotional toll it takes. It is essential to be aware of potential legal issues that can arise during a divorce so that you can protect your interests throughout the process. An experienced divorce attorney can help you navigate these complexities and fight for a fair outcome on your behalf. So get some help when needed!