When you were planning your wedding and preparing to walk down the isle with your spouse, you probably never imagined that one day you would be divorcing that person. However, divorce is the sad but honest truth that takes most marriages down. While they have a lot in common, every divorce is different. Yours will be no exception.
If you and your partner had the foresight to sign a prenuptial agreement outlining property division, child custody, alimony, etc., in the unfortunate demise of your marriage, you are already in good shape. A prenuptial agreement can go a long way to expedite the divorce process and save all involved parties a great deal of anguish. If you do not have a pre or post-nuptial agreement in place, you should prepare yourself for the possibility of an ugly, uphill battle.
Property division is the process in which all of the marital assets of any value are catalogued and tallied to be divided fairly. In the case of a prenuptial agreement, those division percentages will already be determined. In other cases, you will need to go through the process of discovery.
Discovery is the process in which each spouse's attorney will attempt to draw out all of the marital assets to ensure a full and proper division of all of the marital assets. This is a key component of any divorce. It is especially important if you are a high-profile couple or if you have a lot of assets. In those instances, it is not uncommon for one or both spouses to attempt to hide certain assets like off-shore accounts.
Child custody and support determinations are often the most emotionally-charged aspect of any divorce in which children are involved. The family planning agreement which will be executed during the divorce proceedings will require each party to present valid arguments showcasing why their preference is in the best interest of the child or children. If one parent is awarded sole or majority custody, it will usually result in the awarding of child support payments by the other spouse.
In certain marriages, only one spouse is responsible for providing financial income, while the other is left in charge of the domestic responsibilities. In those cases there will usually be an award of alimony to that spouse to enable them to be financially independent.
If you are considering dissolving your marriage, it is best to consult with a qualified divorce attorney before you do anything. An attorney will be able to advise you on the best course of action and provide the protection you need.