Divorce manages to meld a complicated legal matter with one of life’s more difficult transitions, and as a result, the path forward can be especially arduous. One step you can take to help make the process more manageable and to better protect both your financial and parental rights is consulting with an experienced Suffolk divorce lawyer early in the process.
While your divorce will be unique to your family and the circumstances involved, the basic terms of your divorce will divide into both your parental and financial rights, and these apply across all divorces. These terms include:
If your divorce involves children, your child custody arrangements are obviously a top concern. Child custody breaks down into both legal and physical custody, and legal custody refers to who will be making the important child-rearing decisions moving forward. Legal custody can be joint or sole, and the kinds of decisions that apply include:
Physical custody, on the other hand, determines how you and your soon-to-be-ex will divide your time with your shared children. Because the court finds that children are better served when they are allowed to spend a considerable amount of time with both parents, child custody is almost always divided in one of the following ways (barring a compelling reason for ruling otherwise):
Those assets that you and your spouse acquired while you are married – regardless of who makes the purchase or assigns his or her name to the property – is marital property that must be divided between the two of you in a manner that is equitable (or fair in relation to the relevant circumstances). This division of assets is often one of the most hotly contested divorce terms and can quickly become a serious challenge.
Child support is calculated using the state’s exacting methodology, which means that it is generally a fairly straightforward process. If there is an important reason for doing so, however, the court can diverge from the preset formula. A prime example is when a child has special needs that require more extensive care and supervision.
Alimony only plays a role in divorce when the process leaves one spouse less financially independent, and the other has the means to help. Alimony is generally intended to last only until the recipient can gain the education, skills, or job training to better support himself or herself.
The accomplished Suffolk divorce lawyers at Mahoney & Richmond, PLLC, are committed to skillfully advocating for your parental and financial rights throughout the divorce process. Your case matters, so please don’t wait to contact us today.