Family attorneys fight hard for their clients, and they often have to help those clients navigate difficult situations. Perhaps you are divorcing your spouse, and you need help securing your financial future through alimony. Or maybe you are trying to adopt a child who has been the victim of abuse, and you need a lawyer to guide you through the legal process of gaining guardianship. A good family lawyer does not just help their clients navigate the law; they help their clients move forward into better life situations. We appreciate the work these attorneys do, and we have dedicated this blog to spread the word about their profession.
Going through a divorce can be quite stressful, especially when you and your spouse are disagreeing when it comes to the settlement. Here are some of the issues you may run into during mediation.
A divorce settlement is not all about dividing up property and assets. You also need to divide the debt. Credit card debt can be a real challenge, especially when it was spent on assets that you will be dividing. Consider consolidating your credit card debts and assigning a percentage to each person. There should be no need to go through an itemized list of expenses and separate it out.
However, debts can become more complicated when they are for much bigger expenses. Student loans are one area where you may run into a huge disagreement. If your spouse had those student loan debts before the marriage, know that you likely will not have to split this debt up. Unfortunately, it can become complicated if your spouse went back to school during the marriage. You may be the main earner now, but those education expenses could lead to your spouse earning much more money down the road. Work with a divorce lawyer to figure out how to fairly deal with student loan debts.
With the rising cost of health insurance, it is frequently an issue that comes up during a divorce settlement. That's because a person cannot be on a former spouse's health insurance plan after the divorce is finalized. The workaround to this problem is to file for a legal separation until everyone has settled their health insurance issues, such as finding employment with employer-provided health insurance. You'll need to agree on how to split those costs during a legal separation and what will trigger the divorce being official later on.
Figuring out what to do with a home will cause a lot of debate in mediation. Some couples decide to sell the home and split the profits, but that may not be a good option if the real estate market is down. Other couples will give the house to a specific person with the goal that the spouse with the house pays the other spouse a portion of the equity or takes over the remainder of the mortgage. Work closely with a divorce lawyer to review all of your options before you make a final decision. There may be a method to split up the home that you have not thought of before.
To learn more, contact a resource like Budget Divorce Center.