Divorce is complicated, and some divorces are more complicated than others. Divorce issues tend to be divided into financial matters and matters related to child custody arrangements. Your financial concerns will be determined in accordance with your marital financials, and this means that you’re going to need documentation. The better prepared you are to present a complete picture of you and your spouse’s financial standing, the better chance you stand of obtaining divorce terms that support your rights and best interests. If you’re considering or facing a divorce, you need an experienced Annapolis divorce lawyer on your side.
Your divorce will be as unique as you and your marriage are, but there are basic terms that apply to every divorce, including:
Every divorce case needs to examine how to divide marital property, assets, and debts will be divided. Even if you do not have extensive property, there is almost always something to distribute between the spouses. Alimony, on the other hand, is only an issue in select divorce cases under certain circumstances.
If you and your spouse have children, child-related matters can be the primary focus of your divorce. The outcome of custody determinations can impact your relationship with your child, and child support orders can impact your financial future. It is important to take these matters very seriously and never accept a settlement without having it first reviewed by an experienced divorce attorney.
No matter what issues are relevant in your divorce case, you will need documentation and other evidence to achieve the best possible outcome. Read on for more information, and your attorney can advise you of exactly what you will need in your individual case.
The assets and property that you and your spouse acquired together as a married couple is considered marital property, and in the event of a divorce, it is divided in a manner that the court deems equitable or fair given the circumstances. It is important to note that the assets you acquire during this time remain marital property regardless of who made the purchase or whose name is on the deed or title.
Further, that property that you and your spouse bring with you into the marriage – and keep separate throughout the marriage – will remain your separate property. This line between separate and marital property, however, can be blurred quite easily. For example, if you commingle separate property with marital property, it can convert to marital property. Ultimately, having careful financial documentation is critical to obtaining a fair division of marital property.
Alimony (also called spousal support) does not play a role in every divorce, but if the court finds that one spouse will experience an economic downturn upon divorce and that the other spouse has the financial means to help, it may include alimony in the divorce terms. Again, this determination will likely hinge on accurate financial documentation.
If you need the court to address your child custody arrangements, it will base its determinations on the best interests of your children, and it will use wide-ranging information in the process. If you have information and/or documentation that supports maintaining the status quo – with you remaining in your family home with the children, for example – or supports another specific outcome, the court will take it into consideration. Things such as school records, report cards, teachers’ comments, eyewitness testimony, and more can all play a role. Finally, while child support is based on the State of Maryland’s calculation guidelines, the court may take extenuating circumstances – such as a child with special needs – into consideration, which makes documentation key.
Dissolving a marriage is never an easy process, and most involve their own unique complications. There are, however, several factors that help to ensure the division of your marital property will be even more complicated, including:
Regardless of where you are in the divorce process – even if you are just considering filing for divorce – it is not too soon to begin gathering documentation. The fact is that the emotional turmoil (and even the physical upheaval – if you end up moving out of your home in the process) can make finding the documents you need far more difficult. Further, if your divorcing spouse engages in unscrupulous behavior (divorce can lead a reasonable-seeming person to act in a way that you might consider completely out of character), it can make the process that much more daunting. Your marital financials are unique to your marriage, but the following fairly exhaustive checklist can help ensure that you gather the bulk of the important documents you need:
This is a good place to start, but the fact is that – if your financials are especially complicated – this may be just the beginning. You need a savvy divorce lawyer with considerable experience in your corner.
Your divorce terms are likely to dramatically affect your future, which makes obtaining fair terms critical. Patrick Crawford at the Law Office of Patrick Crawford is an accomplished Annapolis divorce lawyer who is committed to helping you gather the exacting documentation necessary to protect your financial and parental rights. You and your children’s future is too important to put off contacting or calling us at (410) 216-7905 to learn more about how we can help today.