Divorce is stressful– fraught with many difficult decisions. Dissolving a marital relationship when minor children are involved is even more challenging, given the emotionally-charged content of addressing issues like custody and child support.
It’s always in your best interest to come to an agreement with your spouse regarding these four main issues, and, when in doubt, seek professional guidance from an experienced divorce attorney.
#1 Division of Property
Both parties need to identify not only shared assets but marital debts. These should be equitably distributed between the spouses. Assets may include the marital home, real estate, business assets, other real property, stocks, bonds and funds, motor vehicles, retirement and savings accounts, as well as personal property such as home furnishings, electronics, and jewelry. Debts to consider might include credit card balances, mortgages, personal loans, medical bills, and student loans.
If an amicable agreement isn’t established, the court will look at the following factors when deciding on property division: the earning power of each party, the length of the marriage, and if children are involved. Our team of divorce lawyers has the knowledge and sensitivity to make this process as painless as possible.
#2 Spousal support/ alimony
Spousal support, also called alimony, is the financial maintenance that one spouse pays to the other. If one spouse believes they are entitled to monthly alimony payments, it is useful to create a budget that details their average monthly living expenses. The length of the marriage, the income differences between the spouses, and the financial needs of the parties will be the most significant factors in deciding if one is entitled to this.
#3 Parenting & Custody Issues
Couples must hash out custody and parenting matters as well. This includes issues of legal custody– major decisions regarding medical care, religious and cultural upbringing, and education. Physical custody refers to the daily care of the children. Will spouses co-parent with a defined schedule, or will one party have sole custody? Couples must discuss what behavior and parenting schedules will be in the best interests of the child or children.
#4 Child support
Child support is a primary aspect of a divorce agreement. The terms of a child support arrangement will hinge on:
- The earning capacity of you and your spouse
- The family’s pre-divorce standard of living
- You and your spouse’s financial situation
- The number of minor children currently in the household
- Special needs of your child/children
New Jersey & New York family law attorneys
For more than 45 years, Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C. have been helping families in Bergen County, and Rockland County navigate the emotional, legal, and financial implications of ending a marriage.
If you need compassionate legal advice regarding any aspect of divorce, we invite you to reach out for a confidential consultation with a divorce attorney that New Jersey and New York residents have come to trust.