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Top Issues to Address During a Divorce

Updated on May 22, 2017

Many assume that divorces are complicated. In reality, most divorces are straightforward. What makes them challenging and appear complex is the emotions. Once emotions take hold and play a role in the communication and negotiation process, divorce becomes difficult.

Luckily, with the assistance of a Dawson divorce lawyer and an understanding of the top issues you must work out in divorce, you might be able to glide through the process smoothly without too many emotional hurdles.

The Dreaded Division of Assets

The division of marital assets is where most divorce settlements hit a wall. Couples cannot agree on what items they want to separate. However, they must realize that equitable distribution does not mean 50/50. Everything, as long as it is a marital asset, is fair game.

What is equal to you might not be fair to your spouse, but that provides both parties with negotiation power. Perhaps you want the family home, but your spouse wants the stocks and car. Your attorneys can assess the value of those items and possibly have you each take what you want if the asset value matches equally.

Parenting Designations and Visitation Time

Another highly contested area of the divorce process is parenting. Try to have a few of the parenting aspects already discussed and resolved before mediation. A few items you and your spouse must address include:

  • Custody and the time spent with each parent.

  • How you would like to divide holidays – or if you wish to go with the standard visitation schedule.

  • Which parent (or both) will make major decisions.

  • How child care will be arranged and paid for.

  • Agreements on parental behavior, such as the use of drugs or alcohol, and interactions with third parties.

Taxes and Your Divorce Settlement

One important issue to work out, and one with which your attorney can help you, is taxes. Most couples forget the tax implications of divorce, but they must be considered. You could be taxed on marital assets you sell by the state and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Therefore, ensure taxes and any penalties are part of your divorce settlement so that each party shares in the penalty.

Education for Children

An often overlooked expense is the education for children. While it is not required that one parent pays for education over the other, having the costs spelled out in your divorce settlement could help resolve future issues for you and your spouse. Have your attorney consider inflation, especially if your child is younger when you divorce. Also, consider having an arrangement where you equally share the burden of your child’s college education.

Estate Documents and Planning

Once your divorce is settled, there is one big issue to address: your estate plan. Now you must draft an estate plan that focuses on your individual – not marital – assets. Your spouse will need to redraft his or her estate plan separately, too.

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