No matter how amicable your split is with your spouse, a family law attorney can help you get what you deserve from your marital assets. For example, splitting up the debt and assets that have accrued during the course of your marriage can get tricky. You might not know what property is yours to keep, or what you can expect from your divorce. While you might be willing to sign a divorce agreement to get it finished, a divorce attorney should always look over your potential agreement to make sure it is fair to you. Once a settlement is agreed upon, changing it is impossible. When child custody is a factor, an attorney will look over your custody arrangement carefully.
Below is more information about the kinds of things that are generally divided during a divorce.
Division of Marital Assets
Marital assets are those things you both earned during the course of your marriage. In community property states, everything is divided in half. In states of equitable distribution, the division is what is deemed fair. This can mean your assets are divided up in half, but this is not always the case. If one party has a substantially lower income than the other, they may receive more marital assets in an equitable distribution state.
Your Separate Property
Separate property is not divided when you get a divorce. If you receive an inheritance, for example, that money is yours to keep if you kept it in a separate bank account. Shared bank accounts are divided, and any inheritance money you put into a shared bank account is considered shared property. When you have assets that you had prior to your marriage, these are generally yours to keep after the divorce is final.
Child Custody Agreements
When you share children, coming up with a fair child custody agreement can be a challenge. For both parents, having enough time to parent in a meaningful way is important. When the children have a good relationship with both parents and they are able to take care of the children, custody is generally split in half. You will each get substantial time with your children and be able to parent to keep your relationship strong.
Keep yourself protected by asking a family law attorney to look over any divorce agreement before you sign it. Property division and child custody issues are difficult to change once you file an agreement. Know what you deserve and don't be afraid to negotiate for what you deserve.