Getting divorced is as stressful as it is and a couple parting ways should do everything they can to limit their confusion and end things amicably. Most individuals contemplating divorce for the first time are met with a series of unsolicited legal advice and misinformation that simply makes the entire process much more complicated than it already is. If you are indeed contemplating divorce and finding yourself entirely overwhelmed, given below are four things that you should know about family law.
1. Your Children Have Rights – They Are Not a Right Themselves
As a parent who dearly loves their children, you might start to think that you have rights over your children – however, this approach is entirely wrong in the eyes of family law, as your children have rights while you as a parent have responsibilities. This understanding is crucial when you fight for custody in or outside courts, as you cannot claim an equal right to sharing custody of your child, irrespective of whether or not you pay child support. Rather, it is upon the courts to accept your request for equal time or grant whatever it deems fit depending on the circumstances. However, an ugly custody battle in the courts can be avoided altogether, if you and your ex decide on visitation and custody rights outside of court.
2. All Your Assets and Liabilities Are Likely To Be Divided
During your marriage, you and your partner may have built various assets up from the ground, put some money aside for your retirement, and incurred a few debts or liabilities. When you pursue a divorce, all your assets and liabilities shall be accumulated in the shared property pool that is to be divided between the two of you. Within a shared property pool, depending upon the country or state you reside in, the laws of that region are to be followed. In cases where one partner is dependent on the other, the courts may decide to divide the pool in favor of the dependent. However, this situation is entirely different if you have a prenuptial agreement in place, and in that case, the particulars of your agreement would supersede the local and by default laws.
3. Your Attorney Requires the Whole Truth From You
While this is a no-brainer, you need to be completely honest with your attorney, especially so if you are not exactly on amicable terms with your ex. Your family lawyer will be able to help and guide you throughout your case only if you are completely transparent with them about your marriage, your reasons for divorce, and your expectations. Anything you hide from your attorney is likely to show up one way or another in your ex’s lawyer’s investigations and the fact that your attorney would be caught off-guard would be harmful to your case. Even if you are hiding financial or personal matters that seemingly have no connection to your marriage, it could count as concealment of information in the eyes of law, and you’d have to face severe penalties if discovered.
4. You Need To Be Clear on the Grounds of Your Divorce
While divorce laws vary from one state to another, a uniform law in all states is that divorcing couples must provide courts with a petition that contains the grounds or reason for their divorce. There are essentially two categories of grounds for divorce which include a no-fault divorce and a fault-based divorce. The former refers to a situation in which neither spouse has caused the other any distress, and the divorce is filed based on no chances for reconciliation. However, the latter refers to a situation in which the spouse filing for divorce has been inflicted by distress from the other spouse due to their actions which may include fraud, adultery, mental or physical torture, or illegal activity.
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