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More About Divorce Cases
A person does not enter into a marriage anticipating a divorce. It is imperative for a party contemplating a divorce to retain an attorney who understands the nuances of divorce law and is prepared to zealously advocate for them.
When a person decides that a divorce is the right option for him/her, there are many complex matters that need to be addressed before the divorce is finalized. Melissa Moss and Sylvia Pociask understand how to respond to the unique circumstances of their clients. Whether a case involves a couple with a high net worth, unique assets, complex custody issues or a situation where a child has special needs and requires support beyond the scope of what the guidelines provide, Melissa Moss and Sylvia Pociask are prepared to work hard to obtain results for their clients.
Issues to be Resolved during a Divorce Proceeding
Whether a couple can come to an amicable agreement on all the major issues of a divorce or require the intervention of the court, there are specific matters that must be resolved before a judge will enter the final divorce decree. These issues include, but are not limited to the below:
- Legal Custody: Legal custody determines which parent has the authority to make major decisions surrounding the health, welfare, and education of the child(ren). A family law proceeding determines whether the parents will share joint legal custody or if one parent will have sole legal custody.
- Physical Custody: Physical custody relates to the time each parent will spend with the child(ren). A family law proceeding will determine if the parents will share joint physical custody or if one parent will have sole physical custody of the child(ren) with the other parent having reasonable rights of visitation.
- Child Support: Child support is calculated by applying a formula determined by the legislatures. The main factors that are input into the formula are the gross incomes of each parent, the number of children to be supported, maintenance that is paid or received, the amount of overnights each parent has custody of the child(ren), who provides the health insurance for the child(ren) and the cost to provide the insurance. The presumption is the child support calculation is just and appropriate. However, experienced family law attorneys are aware of arguments that can be made to deviate from the formula.
- Classification of Marital and Separation Property: Before dividing the assets and debts, the assets and debts must be classified as marital or separate. Marital property is all property and debt acquired by either spouse after the marriage unless it falls within the statutory exceptions. Examples of separate property include property a spouse owned prior to the marriage and an inheritance or gift received during the marriage.
- Division of Marital Property: Marital assets and debts are divided equitably. Most courts divide the marital assets and debts equally as an equitable division; however, there are factors the parties can argue to request an equitable, unequal division in their favor.
- Maintenance: Maintenance, formerly referred to as alimony or spousal support, is determined based upon the following factors: the finances or resources of the party seeking maintenance, the time necessary to acquire sufficient education or training to obtain appropriate employment, the earning capacity of each spouse, the standard of living established during the marriage, the obligations and assets including marital property and the separate property of each party, the duration of the marriage, the age and physical and emotional condition of the spouse seeking maintenance, the ability of the spouse from who maintenance is sought to meet his needs while meeting the needs of the other spouse, conduct of the parties during the marriage, and any other relevant factors.
- Attorneys’ Fees and Litigation Costs: The American rule is that each party is responsible for their own attorney’s fees and litigation costs; however, divorce is an exception to this rule. There are statutory factors that can be considered as an argument that one party should contribute towards the other party’s attorneys’ fees and litigation expenses.