If you are considering getting a divorce, your biggest question is no doubt, “Should I get a divorce?” For many people who are in a marriage where it seems like there is little hope of things working out, there can be a feeling that they do not necessarily have informed people in the lives who can give them perspective on this question while at the same time being trustworthy enough to keep these thoughts of divorce confidential. Friends, family members, and co-workers might all seem either biased, untrustworthy, or unable to provide advice. But you should not ask a divorce lawyer whether or not you should get a divorce, because only you can make that decision for yourself with the support of people close to you. That said, a family law attorney can give you quite a bit of invaluable information about what you might face in a divorce and, more importantly, in life after the divorce which can help you make the ultimate decision of whether to pursue a divorce or not. Here are three questions you should ask your family law attorney instead.
How Will Our Property and Debts Be Split Up?
State law will determine how the property owned by you and your spouse will be split between the two of you. You might think that whoever went out and earned the money that purchased the property gets to keep it, but you would be wrong. Courts generally look at all property earned or acquired during the marriage as belonging to both the parties (regardless of who actually “earned” it) and will divide it between them, but, if you and your spouse can reach an agreement on your own regarding property division, the court will respect your agreement if it is fair in light of the law.
This might be easy with cash and savings, but it gets more complicated with family businesses, real estate, and other difficult-to-divide property. You will also want to know who will be responsible for your shared debts incurred during the marriage. By having the answers to property questions before you start the divorce process, you can take steps to protect your property from underhanded tactics by the other spouse.
How Much Alimony Will I Be Entitled to Or Be Required to Pay?
Alimony is not just for the rich and famous, and many spouses (both men and women) are surprised to learn how much alimony they will be required to pay following a marriage. Likewise, if you are a dependent spouse (or at least earn less than the other spouse) you will want to get a clear-eyed picture of how much alimony you will actually be entitled to following a divorce and thus whether it is financially wise for you to pursue a divorce.
What Issues Will Factor into Custody Decisions?
There is an enduring misconception that family law courts will almost always award custody to the mother, but most states have abolished any presumption in favor of the mother. Instead, most states decide custody (whether joint or sole custody with visitation or no visitation) based on a series of factors based on the best interests of the child. These usually have to do with the ability and desire of either parent to meet the child’s needs, encourage interaction with the other parent, histories of domestic abuse and drugs/alcohol, and other factors related to the stability of the child. A divorce attorney can provide further information on the rules in your state and how they might apply to your situation.
Legal Help in Your Florida Divorce Action
No matter where you are in the divorce process in Florida, from initial consideration to ongoing litigation, The Law Offices of Ira M. Marcus, P.A. in Miami can help. Contact our office today to set up a consultation with a trusted and caring family law attorney.