When a couple decides to end their marriage, there are several matters that must be considered. Getting a divorce entails much more than simply no longer wanting to be married to each other. Many couples hire a divorce attorney to help them get everything settled so the divorce can be finalized. These are some of the issues that a divorce attorney normally handles.
Division Of Debt And Property
When a couple divorces, they are still held responsible for any debt that may have been incurred during the marriage. However, it is not always possible for the debt to be divided equally between both parties. The marital debt is often divided according to who can afford to repay certain bills. It may also be based on which person wants to retain ownership of what was purchased with the debt. For example, if there is an existing car loan and the wife wants to keep the car, she may be required to take on the debt owed against it on her own.
Division of property is another matter that is handled by a divorce attorney. This included determining who should keep the marital home, vehicles, furniture, vacation homes, and any other large pieces of property that were purchased during the marriage.
Child Custody And Visitation
If the couple has children, the custody and visitation of these children will need to be determined. Some couples share joint custody, but the children live primarily in the home with one parent. A visitation schedule will be devised so that the other parent also has the opportunity to spend time with the children and take part in raising them.
However, once the child reaches a certain age, he may be allowed to decide who he wants to live with and if he wants to have visitation with the noncustodial parent. The age the child is allowed to make this decision may vary according to the state the family lives in.
Child And Spousal Support
The noncustodial parent will also be required to pay child support to the custodial parent to help provide for the financial needs of the children. If one party has a substantially higher income than the other, the more financially stable party may also be required to pay spousal support to the other until the party with a lower income remarries. However, this is also dependent on how much of the marital debt that each party is ordered to pay.
While the divorce attorney has the ability to help the couple decide how these matters will be managed, it is up to the family court judge to agree with the decision and sign the papers so that the divorce will become final. If the couple cannot agree, each party may hire an individual divorce attorney and the case may have to go to court to become finalized by the judge.