A divorce involves much more than the granting of an actual divorce by a Court. There are many complexities depending on a couple’s circumstances that will have to be analyzed and accounted for in each individual divorce process. Here are some areas a divorce attorney can help you navigate specific to your situation.

Child support and related decisions

  • Who will have legal custody of the minor children, and allocation of parenting time between the parties to the divorce?
  • Who will carry the children’s health insurance, and who will pay for the health expenses of the children that are not covered by insurance?
  • How much child support will be paid by one parent to the other, and who will pay the expenses for the children?
  • Who will be responsible for college decisions and payment of college education for the children?
  • Life insurance is typically ordered by a court to secure the payment of support in the event one of the parents dies before the children are “emancipated”—which can be anywhere from age 18-23 for a child; how much life insurance should each parent maintain and for how long and who should be named as beneficiary?

Division of assets

  • What is the full list of assets in question? This can include the home, pensions and retirement plans, bank and investment accounts, inheritances, and many, many other assets, regardless of when or how they were acquired.
  • How will the assets be divided between the parties and what is the value of each of the assets?
  • Who will be responsible for any losses or gains on accounts or assets from the time of divorce to the time the assets are actually divided?
  • Who will be responsible for the mortgages, debts, credit cards and other liabilities?

Alimony

  • Will one party pay alimony to the other, and for how long and under what circumstances?
  • Will that amount be subject to change?
  • If there is no provision for alimony, can either party petition the Court for alimony in the future?
  • Will one party be required to continue health insurance coverage for the other party, and who will pay the extra cost of that spouse’s coverage?
  • Will additional life insurance be required to secure the payment of alimony in the event of the death of the payor before the termination of alimony?

Taxes

  • How will taxes work now that the couple is separated?
  • Will support be tax deductible/includable to the parties?
  • Who will receive a joint tax refund or make a joint tax payment?
  • Who will be entitled to take the income tax dependency exemption for the children?
  • Who pays the tax consequences of a stock or other account that has to be liquidated?
  • What about the capital gains tax on the house once it’s sold—who will be responsible for that?

Contingencies…

  • A court has to decide whether an agreement between the parties will be permanent and binding, or more modifiable, and what happens if one party dies.
  • What happens if a party disobeys the orders of the Court?
  • A court will have to inquire into whether the parties have fully disclosed all of their assets and liabilities, and what happens if it is later determined that a party was hiding an asset or a debt?

The granting of a “judgment of divorce” is a simple procedure; however, the resolution of all of the above issues is far more complicated. Caution dictates that you secure the advice of a seasoned attorney who concentrates in divorce and family law to insure that your rights now and in the future are fully protected, and too be sure all of the above issues are discussed, identified and resolved.

If you do not deal with these issues at the time of your divorce, you may find yourself in Court over and over again wrestling with issues that should have been dealt with at the divorce. Contact Ryan Faenza Cataldo LLC for a consultation today.