Legal separation, more commonly referred to as divorce, is the act of splitting with your legal spouse. The process of marriage is a legally binding affair that ties together every aspect of your personal life with your partner.
Getting married is the easy part. Getting a divorce, however, is a difficult process and is fraught with many pitfalls and potentially life-shattering consequences.
Divorce Brings About A Lot Of Changes
The major thing that takes most people by surprise during a divorce proceeding is the sheer amount of change that occurs. Everything will be different now. The way you wake up, eat, sleep, work, finances, and family life will now be altered irrevocably.
Take care to guard yourself against the shock and depression that can accompany such a change. This is particularly true if the divorce has come about due to some extreme and dramatic events regardless of whose fault it is.
The best possible outcome would be that you and your partner are able to amicably and logically determine your assets and responsibilities. This is the best outcome for everyone involved. This is particularly important if children are involved. A parents’ responsibility is to protect their children from trauma.
The first major part of legal separation is the legal division of all assets in possession by the couple. Assuming there are not legally binding contracts to modify the outcome, such as a pre-nuptial agreement, the division of resources will be determined by the courts.
Of course, if the separation is amicable, it can be determined by the parties involved. If that isn’t the case, as it rarely is, then the judge at the family court will determine who gets what. This is determined by a variety of factors that are too extensive to detail here. The professionals behind Familyatty.com point out that it’s a good idea to consult an attorney if there are significant assets to be split up. Those who specialize in family law should be consulted because they are able to provide answers to the more nuanced aspects of the financial division. Being prepared is the most important aspect of this part of the ordeal.
Even more than finances, custody is the most important part of a legal separation. Nothing is more important than the health and safety of your children. This instinctual desire to take care of one’s children has the potential to take the animosity between ex-partners through the roof.
If one parent thinks the other isn’t fit to care for their child, they can quite literally go crazy thinking about it. This is especially true if one parent isn’t given visitation rights.
Custody usually works on a percentage and can range from 50/50 to 100/0. Usually, one parent will get majority custody while the other will receive a minority of the time. Even if both parents are fit, this is often the decision that is handed down because of the residential stability it provides during the school week. Losing visitation can be devastating for a parent. And parents will resort to all kinds of lies and trickery to get custody. So document everything and be prepared for a nasty fight.
Alimony And Child Support
Alimony and child support are the aspects of separation that involve both family and finance at the same time. Alimony is an amount awarded by the judge to the less financially wealthy member of the union. The other member will make monthly payments to the ex to help them maintain the level of comfort that they afforded during the marriage. This is a hot-button issue.
Finally, child support is the financial award provided to the majority custody holder. Whoever has more than 50% custody will generally receive compensation from the other parent to cover the basic costs of child-rearing.
The truth is that legal separation is a complex process and it can have many outcomes. It’s far too complex to discuss here. However, get informed or hire a good lawyer or something because you can’t trust anyone to look out for your interests except yourself.