Divorce can be a challenging and emotional process for everyone involved. Many parties often wonder where to start sorting through different aspects of a marital relationship. A helpful place to begin is to understand that there are four main issues to address during a divorce: two of these apply to every divorce, and two of them only apply to couples with dependent minors.
Most martial estates include debts and assets, which must be identified, disclosed, and equitably divided. Assets may include:
- The marital home
- Real estate
- Motor vehicles
- Business interests
- Retirement accounts
- Stocks and bonds
- Personal property (e.g., jewelry, home goods)
Debts often include:
- Credit card balances
- Student loans
- Second mortgages
- Personal loans
- Medical bills
- Lines of credit
Whether you plan to seek the counsel of an attorney or not, it'd be helpful to make a list of your assets and debts with an estimate of their values. This list can help the parties conceptualize the marital estate and formulate mutually beneficial options for a fair settlement.
Alimony, or spousal maintenance, depends on the income disparity between the parties and the length of the marriage. Spousal maintenance may be appropriate if one party can't meet the reasonable monthly expenses and the other party can contribute.
It's also important to consider how long one spouse should pay alimony. Most parties agree to exchange spousal maintenance for a limited time. Sometimes, parties use a "step-down" approach, so the spousal maintenance amount decreases until it's no longer paid.
#3 Custody and Parenting Time
The two types of custody are legal and physical. Legal custody involves issues, such as major medical decisions, education, and religious upbringing. Parties can agree to share legal custody decisions, therefore having "joint legal custody."
Physical custody pertains to the child's daily care, such as where the child lives. However, more and more parents are shifting their focus to co-parenting schedules that are in the child's best interests.
Parents can follow different schedules, depending on their child's best interest. Some of the schedules are:
- 5-2-2-5 (Parent 1 has Monday and Tuesday, Parent 2 has Wednesday and Thursday, and both parents alternate Friday-Sunday)
- Visitation to the non-primary parent every other weekend and one or two nights per week
- Visitation to the non-primary parent for alternating holidays and school breaks
#4 Child Support
Child support is typically straightforward and is based on the parties' incomes and the parenting plan. The three types of child support are:
- Basic support – paid from Parent 1 to Parent 2 for daily necessities
- Medical support – divides medical insurance and out-of-pocket costs
- Childcare support – divides costs of childcare
Contact Your Divorce Attorney in Schaumburg Today
Do you need a divorce lawyer but don't know where to start? Please get in touch with our law office today to learn more about how our divorce attorneys and family law experts can help you. The Law Offices of Robert M. Kaplan, P.C. are pleased to serve clients from Schaumburg, Rolling Meadows, and all surrounding areas.