Wright County Divorce Attorney Explains 8 Things You Must Decide When Getting Divorced

Apr 30, 2008

Going through a divorce can be very difficult.  It is an emotional time.  A lot of things are changing.  There will be a lot of information to process and a lot of decisions to make.  This can be very overwhelming.  There are 8 big things you must decide when getting divorced:

  1. To Get a Divorce – Only one spouse needs to want the divorce, it will still happen even if there other party fights it. 

  2. Venue – The county where the divorce will take place, generally where at least one spouse lives 

  3. Representation – Will you act pro se and represent yourself or hire an attorney?

  4. Divorce Process – How will you negotiate an agreement?  Will you be able to work directly with your spouse?  Should you consider mediation?  Will your attorney be involved in negotiating the agreement?  When will you start the court process?

  5. Property Division (The standard here is a fair and equitable division, this does not necessarily mean equal) – Consider what you will do with: Personal property & household goods, Vehicles, Real estate, Retirement Assets, Bank accounts & Investments, and Debts.

  1. Kid Stuff (The standard here is what is in the best interests of the children)

  • Child Custody includes: Legal custody (decision making) and Physical custody (daily care and control)- can each be sole or joint

  • Parenting Time (used to be called visitation) – includes Weekly schedules, Holidays, Vacations, and Special provisions, concerns, circumstances

  • Child Support – calculation provided by statute, includes: Base Support, Daycare Support, and Medical Support (including unreimbursed)

  • Tax Exemptions – Who will claim which child in what years. Different fro Head of Household, but same as child tax credits, parent who claims child gets daycare/education credit.

  1. Financial Considerations

  • Spousal Maintenance – There is no formula like child support  Ask 3 questions:  Does one spouse have a need for it? If so, does the other spouse have the ability to pay? If so, for how much and how long?

  • Tax Filing – Status on December 31st determines married/single status for tax filing purposes

  1. Insurance

  • Health Insurance for kids and self (look into insurance through employment, COBRA, or private policy)

  • Life Insurance for child support/spousal maintenance