|The Legal Questions...
The decision of whether or not and how to use a attorney
in divorce is strictly up to you. In most cases, it's not just a matter
of filling out a form. Rather, it's the knowledge of what actions
are needed, as well as what issues might be present in your divorce that
will require special handling.
|| A lawyer can help you deal with the legal
issues surrounding your divorce as well as the unseen ins and outs of the
judicial system relative to obtaining a divorce decree; issues that might
be overlooked should you attempt a do-it-yourself divorce.
| Also, in all but the shortest and simplest of marriages,
there will be an item or two whose ownership will necessitate a change.
A good attorney will be able to help you deal with that as well.
Furthermore, a lawyer is particularly important when you
and your spouse have been married for several years, and your mutual ownership
of family assets has become entangled. It's also important to get help
if you and your spouse have owned one or more major assets that have increased
Obviously, there is a lot more to it than simply deciding
who gets to keep the family cat.
The Losses Involved...
Children: Even older children can be deeply
affected by the marriage breakup of their parents. Deep hurts can
result that might be irreconsilable. It will take patience and work
to heal the hurt experienced by children if the parent-child relationship
is to survive.
Certainly, younger children are even more negatively impacted.
Their lack of any kind of real maturity makes them all the more vulnerable
to the upset of losing at least one parent on a full-time basis.
They see things in black and white and do not understand the nuances of
what made their parent's marriage go bad. As a result, they usually
favor one parent over another even if it is a marital breakup that is mutual.
More times than not, men are the real losers here as children
are usually placed in the custody of their mothers. More often than
not, women are embittered by the marital breakup and this gets picked up
by the children. Those fathers who are still good responsible men
will still find themselves at a loss here no matter what they do.
It is very rare to see a divorce where the two parents refuse to do anything
that would prejudice the child either way and where the child is shared
fairly with his/her best interests considered as the top priority.
Relatives & Friends: That favorite in-law
may not ever want to see you again. Your mates friends just might
go with him/her once you separate. If your own relatives are far
away and most of your friends are from your mates side of the fence, you
could end up feeling very much alone. If there is one thing you will
need following a divorce, it is people who will love you and support you.
Shared History: The family photo albums will
never be looked at in the same way again. All of those memories that
the two of you share will become as dust in the wind. The places
you went to; the experiences you shared; the things you accomplished together--gone.
Not only that, but anything that was good about your time together risks
being colored as having been less than good when the anger, upset, and
bitterness sets in.
Financial Security: If two can live as cheaply
imagine what two living separately must be like. It's going to
cost you whether you like it or not. You can protest all you want
to and feel like he/she is taking you to the cleaners, but whatever the
court decides is what you are most likely going to have to live with.
A vindictive woman will usually be favored by the court as men are generally
considered as being culprits no matter what. On the other hand, a
woman who has truly been victimized by a man deserves her fair share of
his income if it is indeed larger. However, life is filled with changes
and things will improve for those who retain some modicum of dignity and
refuse to give up. You'll survive if you keep your faith in the future.
are several factors a judge considers when deciding whether to grant alimony.
These differ from state to state, of course, but they usually involve things
like each one's ability to earn money, both now and in the future; their
respective age and health; the length of the marriage;
the kind of property involved, and the conduct of the parties. In general,
about the only time a judge will award alimony in most states is where
one spouse has been economically dependent on the other spouse for most
of a lengthy
Child Support: When
the divorce decree or separation agreement identifies a specific amount
of continuing support as child support, the amount so designated will not
be treated as alimony. Payments can be characterized as child support even
though they are for the support of an adult child.
Taxes: It's often said that
there are really three parties to a divorce: the husband, the wife, and
Uncle Sam. In a sense, that's right. Far too many people negotiate and
finalize their divorce without taking proper account of the tax impact
of the decisions they are making. Although, alimony is deductible
for the payee, the party receiving it will have to conider it as taxable
income. Child support is not deductible.
Not to Mention...property
settlements, ownership of the car(s), home furnishings, cash, investments,
retirement programs, and, of course, your outstanding debts. Add
to that the probability that you are going to have to live lean for awhile
and you now have an idea of how much it costs to divorce.
A Final Word...
Obtaining a divorce is not as easy as you might think.
Perhaps the freedom you desire is
well worth the pain. However, if there is anything that you can do
to resolve the issues between the two of you, try that first. If
not, then fasten your seatbelt, hold onto your wallet/purse, and get ready
to go through a long, dark tunnel. Yes, thre is light on the other
end but it's going to be awhile before you see it.
When people fall in love, it is a wonderful thing.
Little else in life is as fulfilling and exciting as becoming a couple
with someone who wants to share their life with you. However, when
people fall out of love, nothing comes close to being as devistating and
nightmarish when the dissolution of a marriage is involved.
Individuals who were once capable of great love become
vicious, self-serving, hateful, and filled with bitterness. Where
once they could not take their eyes off of each other, they now don't ever
want to have to look at one another again.
Yes, you will be free--but it will cost you.
rights reserved - 10/22/2001--
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