If you find yourself heading into a divorce for the first time, you’re probably naturally going to have a number of questions concerning it.
To help you along, we’ve come up with a list of the top five questions that people commonly have about divorce and responded each of them accordingly.
1 – How Do You Get The Divorce Process Started?
In order to officially get the divorce proceedings underway, you will need to file a petition for divorce with the local court clerk. Often times, people like to do this with the aid of a divorce attorney, even though it is not required. Having a divorce attorney can help you with any questions you have about the divorce process.
As soon as the petition for a divorce has been filed, your spouse will be given a number of days to respond to the petition. Your petition will also be given a case number and a date will be set for a hearing in court.
2 – How Will Property Be Divided?
Property will always attempted to be divided fairly when a divorce is underway, but it’s ultimately left up to the judge. The judge will have to follow certain state guidelines for your state. Many factors will be taken into account to determine the legal division of property. This includes how the property was acquired and what either spouse had before the marriage began.
You should research the property division laws of your state for more relevant information as well.
3 – How Will Alimony Be Determined?
First, the court will need to determine whether there is a need for alimony in the first place. If it is determined that there is a need for it, then it will need to be determined how much alimony will be ordered and for what period of time.
Again, the laws and guidelines do really vary by state and the final decision is left up to the judge. The two biggest factors that the judge will take into account to determine the amount of alimony include how long the parties were married for and whether the party seeking alimony is able to be self-supporting without it or not.
4 – How Is Child Support Determined?
As with alimony, the rules and guidelines concerning child support vary by the state. But all states take into account the financial needs of the children and the financial ability of either parent to make those needs.
Sometimes, the income of the noncustodial parent will be taken with a percentage given for child support. The percentage will be higher if you have more children. Another method is to take the combined income of both parents and then have either party meet the financial needs of the child based on a proportion of the total income.
5 – How Much Will It Cost To Get Divorced?
There is no one set answer to this question because every situation is different. The more factors that come into play, the more costly your divorce will probably be. This is because it will take your divorce attorney more time to sort through your income, assets, and debts. The cost of divorce can be broken into both variable costs and fixed costs. Fixed costs are the fees that you pay the court. These fees will typically be around five hundred dollars or less. The variable costs include paying your attorney and the cost of document preparation. These fees can vary greatly depending on the attorney you hire.
Having your documents gathered and organized for your first attorney meeting can make a huge difference. You can grab a copy of our FREE Divorce Financial Documents Checklist below to help you get started.