Legal Articles

What To Ask For In Your Divorce Settlement

A fair divorce settlement leaves both parties with what they need to start over. Before negotiations begin, you should discuss your options with your divorce attorney.

To help guide your negotiations and avoid surprises, you should create a list of your nonnegotiables, the things you’re willing to be flexible on, and the things you’re willing to live without. Below is a list of topics to consider when determining what to ask for in your divorce settlement.

Custody
In many divorce cases, custody can be the most difficult to navigate. Any situation involving children requires the court to make decisions based on “the best interests of the child,” which are guidelines to determine the child’s needs.

Most judges generally favor custody arrangements that allow both parents to spend considerable time with their children, as this is generally in the child’s best interests. However, when parents can agree on a suitable parent schedule, the court may be willing to sign off on other arrangements.

Support Payments
Child support and alimony are often needed to maintain fairness and some standard of living following a divorce. Support payments will be awarded by a judge and outlined in your divorce settlement agreement.

Marital Home
Determine the importance and feasibility of maintaining your marital home. If necessary, are you willing to give up other assets to stay in your home? If awarded the marital home, can you afford the cost of upkeep and monthly expenses?

If you are willing to give up the home, you will need to consider selling your share to your spouse or putting the house on the market. There is no right or easy answer, but understanding your desires will help facilitate negotiations.

Debt Division
Make sure you have a clear understanding of your marital debt. You don’t want to be left with a mountain of bills. Debt division will be determined by who incurred the debt, who benefited from it, and who is able to repay it. It most circumstances, debt incurred while in the marriage is the responsibility of both partners.

Retirement Accounts
Couples who have been married for a significant period of time may have built a substantial retirement fund. You may be entitled to a share of retirement funds, even if they aren’t in your name.

It’s important to properly handle retirement money to avoid paying extra taxes or early withdrawal penalties.

Future Needs
Consider future needs before settlement negotiations begin. Who will pay for your child’s education? How long will someone pay child support. How will you pay for new living expenses? It’s essential to address all current and future needs carefully so you know what to ask for in your divorce settlement.

Divorce can be an emotionally charged time. Decisions that will impact your life should be carefully considered and thought out. Contact our team to schedule a consultation for assistance navigating your divorce. Having an experienced divorce lawyer by your side every step of the way can help ensure you receive a fair settlement.

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