A divorce, or dissolution, is essentially a financial separation from your spouse. The Court considers your community assets, (assets acquired during the marriage), separate assets, (assets acquired before and even after the marriage), as well as the length of your marriage and how you will be positioned financially after the marriage ends. This financial separation is intended to be just, fair and equitable.
Often with longer term marriages, such as 20 years or more, alimony or maintenance, is appropriate – especially when there is a great disparity in your income and that of your spouse. The Court, in such situations, may order one party to contribute financially to the other in order to help the other party get back on their feet and become marketable for purposes of employment or continuing education. Maintenance may also be applicable in medium length marriages, 10 to 20 years in duration, but rarely applies in shorter term marriages where the parties have been together for 5 years or less.
When children are involved, then child support and parenting plans are necessary provisions included in the dissolution.
Child Support is due to the custodial parent so that the child or children are not affected by the parents’ financial separation from one another and to ensure that their quality of life essentially remains the same. Child support is applicable temporarily, pending completion of your divorce, and will continue until your child or children turn 18 or remain enrolled high school, whichever is longer.
Parenting Plans provide for visitation with the non-custodial parent, decision-making authority, dispute resolution and other necessary provisions. A detailed parenting plan is necessary and can save aggravation and arguments down the road. While a divorce will separate you from your spouse financially, parents will always be married when it comes to raising the children. So, it is important to remember that the Court will consider your child or children’s best interests when it comes to constructing and considering your parenting plan.
As you can see, a divorce can be a fairly complex procedure and one with many issues. Knowledgeable legal representation and counsel will benefit you.