Divorce entails much more than simply ending a marriage contract. If you are preparing to divorce in the Midwestern US, it’s essential to consider the various components of the divorce process and how they are likely to impact your life in the future. Divorce is likely to have a considerable influence on your financial status and economic future.
As you prepare for your impending divorce proceedings, it is essential to understand the most critical financial issues likely to arise during your divorce case. An experienced Midwest divorce attorney is a vital asset as you prepare for financial disclosure and negotiation of your divorce terms. In addition, your legal team can help you gather the records and documentation you need to provide to the court to ensure a fair and reasonable division of property, alimony determination, and child support determination.
Property Division in Midwestern Divorce
One of the essential functions of the divorce process is assigning separate property ownership rights for a divorcing couple’s marital property. In every divorce, each of the spouses will have separate property they may keep following the finalization of the divorce, but any assets or property that qualify as marital property are subject to division under their state’s property division laws. Additionally, married spouses share responsibility for most debts acquired during their marriage.
Most states in the Midwest uphold equitable distribution rules for property division in divorce. This means that when the court must determine property division in divorce, the judge overseeing the case must aim for the fairest and most reasonable division of property based on each of the spouse’s contributions toward the marriage. It’s important to note that “equitable” does not necessarily mean “equal.” Most equitable distribution rulings are not equal because divorcing spouses typically contribute to their marriages in varying degrees.
It is natural to preserve your best interests and secure a sound financial future for yourself following your divorce. However, it may be difficult for some divorcing individuals to understand how equitable distribution functions in most Midwest states. Regardless of whether you are a high-net-worth individual or have limited assets, legal counsel from an experienced Midwest divorce attorney is a crucial asset as you prepare for property division proceedings in your divorce case.
Another point of contention for most divorce cases in the Midwest is alimony, also referred to as spousal support. When one spouse was financially dependent upon the other for many years, family courts generally uphold that they are entitled to financial support following their divorce that helps them gain independent financial footing. However, the amount a divorced spouse receives in alimony typically depends on the higher-earning spouse’s income. In addition, the length of time the recipient can continue to receive alimony checks usually depends on the length of time the marriage lasted.
If you are expecting to receive alimony, it’s essential to understand the purpose of these payments and the conditions under which you may continue receiving them. Alimony is not repayment for your contributions toward your former marriage; it is meant to support you until you can support yourself. Every alimony agreement will include “terminating actions” that end the alimony agreement once completed by the recipient. For example, if you receive alimony and then move in with a new romantic partner after your divorce, this will likely qualify as a terminating action. Moving in with another person essentially means you are no longer supporting yourself entirely alone and have help with your living expenses.
Whether you pay or receive alimony from your divorce, be sure to read the agreement carefully and notify your attorney if you believe any recent events influence your standing alimony arrangement. For example, notify your attorney about what you should do after this discovery if you pay alimony to an ex-spouse and believe they have completed a terminating action.
One of the most important financial aspects of a divorce is child support. If you and your spouse have children together, your mutual obligations as parents do not end when your marriage ends. The family court systems of the Midwest uphold that a child has the right to financial support from both of their parents. Child support exists to ensure a child of divorced parents continues to receive the support they need following their parent’s divorce.
Child support and child custody relate very closely to one another. When parents divorce, the court must determine what custody arrangement best suits the child’s needs and interests. Unless either parent poses a clear risk to their child’s health and safety, family courts in the Midwest generally strive to provide a child with equal access to their parents and arrange joint custody between the divorcing parents. Both parents will have a child support obligation, but determining which parent pays the other typically hinges on the parents’ financial status and their respective custody rights.
Typically, a higher-earning parent will pay child support to a lower-earning parent. However, if one parent obtains a more significant share of custody rights than the other, the other parent will likely owe them child support payments. A lower-earning parent can owe child support to a higher-earning parent if the lower-earning parent has minimal physical custody of their children. The court generally assumes that a parent fulfills their financial obligations to their child when they have physical custody and must actively look after the child at home.
Seek Reliable Legal Counsel
Property division, alimony, and child support are likely to play in any divorce involving parents. These three financial issues are likely to completely reshape each divorcing parents’ lives once their divorce is finalized. It’s natural to feel uncertain and to have many questions about your divorce process. Approaching this demanding situation is much easier when you have reliable legal representation supporting you. A good divorce attorney can help you secure a fair divorce settlement that helps you start the next phase of your life with greater confidence. If you have any financial concerns about your impending divorce, contact an experienced Midwest divorce attorney as soon as possible.