If you are considering getting a divorce, then you have quite a bit on your plate. Divorces can be quite complicated and frustrating, especially if you don't really know what you are doing. To help you get a better idea of exactly how divorce works and how to prepare yourself, here is an introduction to the subject:
What is a divorce really?
As you probably know, a divorce is the legal dissolution of a marriage. However, the process is a little more complicated than you might imagine.
In order to file a divorce, you first must qualify for divorce in your state of residence. Then, you will need to officially file for the divorce. It is important to note that you do not need to notify your spouse before actually filing the divorce papers. After you file, your spouse will be notified by the court.
At this point, a preliminary hearing will be held at the court in order to deal with time-sensitive issues such as child support, which might not be able to wait until the divorce is finalized. At this point, you will need to agree on how property will be split up and how child custody will be handled.
How is property split up?
You may have heard horror stories about men "losing everything" in a divorce, but this generally is not the case. Both the lawyers and married couple sit down and discuss what should be divided up. This can last anywhere from a single day to multiple years, but usually results in a fairly even split of possessions. In some cases, the spouse with lower income and lower financial stability may be given a larger portion of the property or the primary caregiver of the children may be given the residence in order to serve the best interests of the children.
What about the children?
Custody can be a very difficult issue to resolve, since no parent wants to be separated from their child. In many cases, alternating custody is chosen. In some cases, custody will be given exclusively to the primary caregiver, if the other parent has shown that they are unfit to raise a child. In cases where a single parent is given full custody, alimony is often ordered by the court.
What is alimony?
Alimony is a monthly payment that a non-caregiving parent makes to the caregiving parent of their child. Since the non-caregiving parent does not directly support the child, alimony is important to ensure that the child is sufficiently provided for. Alimony is not always ordered, such as when the caregiving parent is in a much more stable financial position than the non-caregiving parent.
To learn more, contact a family law attorney to get help.