How Divorce Lawyers Can Help You

Divorces are a fact of life, and they affect most couples at some point in their lives.

In most cases, a divorce can be resolved by the parties working together and negotiating their terms.

However, many disputes are acrimonious and need skilled legal representation. A good Mornington divorce lawyers will keep the focus on cooperative negotiation and terms that are mutually acceptable for both spouses.

Splitting Assets

Dividing assets, particularly those involving real estate and personal items, is one of the most complex aspects of divorce. Ultimately, you and your spouse will have to find a way to split those assets that you’ve worked so hard to build together.

In Illinois, a couple’s property is generally divided based on the state’s equitable distribution legal standard. That means that all marital property, including retirement savings and other accumulated assets, must be distributed equitably to each party.

As such, it’s important to identify and understand which assets are part of your marital estate and which ones are separate. This will help you make a more informed decision about how to divide your assets.

You’ll also want to close any joint bank accounts and credit lines, as well as identify your debts. It’s best to pay off as much of your debts as possible before you start the divorce process, as that will reduce the amount that a judge has to consider.

Child Custody

Child custody is an issue that may arise in a divorce. It is an important area of concern for parents who have children together because it can make a significant difference in their lives.

In many states, there is a general presumption in favor of shared physical custody. However, it is important for parents to understand that the courts will still consider several factors when determining custody.

This includes whether one parent has a history of domestic violence, if the children have special needs, or if the other parent is abusive to the children.

Often, joint custody is the best way to ensure that the children stay involved with both parents and are not affected negatively by their breakup. A skilled family lawyer can help you and your spouse come to an agreement on this topic and file a legal contract called a custody agreement that both parties are bound by.

Custody issues are often the most difficult ones to resolve in a divorce. But even if the matter seems overwhelming, it is possible to work through the conflicts with skilled negotiation and mediation.

Family Debt

During a marriage or registered domestic partnership, spouses can often incur debt for everyday living expenses and special purchases, like the marital home, cars, vacations, and extracurricular activities. These debts are generally known as “marital debt.”

The court is required to divide these marital debts equitably. This means the judge looks at all relevant factors, such as the party’s income and debt responsibility, and decides how to split the debts fairly.

However, there are also other issues to consider. If a credit card is co-signed or joint, it can still be a marital debt, even if it’s in only one of the partners’ names.

Similarly, medical and student loan debts are usually considered community property, but can be divided in some states if one spouse used separate funds to pay it. In addition, if one spouse paid off a mortgage or house with community funds but the other spouse lived in it, they may be able to receive reimbursement from their former spouse for those payments and a reduction of the remaining mortgage or property ownership based on a calculation called an “Epstein Credit.”

Spousal Support

Spousal support is the monetary payments made by one spouse to the other during and after a divorce. Often called “alimony,” spousal support helps a spouse maintain a standard of living similar to that enjoyed during the marriage.

The amount of spousal support is determined by a court, based on a variety of factors. These include each party’s earning capacity, the parties’ ages and health, and any other relevant circumstances.

Alimony may be awarded for long or short periods of time, depending on the situation. For example, spousal support might be ordered for the length of time it takes a person to find and keep a job.

In some cases, spousal support can be awarded for the period it takes to complete education or take a course that increases a person’s skills. This type of spousal support is sometimes called reimbursement spousal support.

Spousal support can also be modified or terminated if there is a substantial change in a person’s circumstances. However, this is typically difficult to do without the help of a divorce lawyers Mornington.

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