A divorce proceeding can never be pleasant and comfortable. It is in almost all cases, unpleasant, inconvenient, stressful, and expensive. When the marriage breaks down with no hope for reconciliation, it is unfortunate indeed. However, a couple should be aware of the divorce rights of each spouse and ensure that they are not violated.
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By not knowing what is rightfully due to you, you may stand to lose a good deal of alimony. Knowing your divorce rights will make sure that you are not cheated by the process. Significant among them are
- Divorce rights are different in different states of the US
- Property that was earned during marriage (irrespective of whom it belongs to among the partners) should be divided ensuring a fair share to both partners. This law is common in all states of the US.
- When one spouse earns more or is much more financially secure than the other, then it becomes obligatory for the richer spouse to create an allowance for the soon-to-be-ex-spouse, which is termed alimony or maintenance
- Alimony for the financially dependent spouse (in most cases it is the woman) is decided by the court, taking into consideration the following factors
1. The financial status, scope of employment of both partners
2. Property and income details, including income from property, of both partners
3. How many people have to be provided for by the alimony
4. If the estranged partner has been living separately, the reason for the same
5. The wants of the financially dependent partner
Minor children are usually in the custody of the mother unless (1) She is working and cannot care for the children or (2)is known to be irresponsible about child-rearing; the decision (by the court) about children is always taken keeping in mind how much beneficial it is for the children.
Related: Effects of Divorce on Children
What to do
Just like you would not attempt driving a vehicle if you do not know the rudiments of maneuvering it, in the same manner, it makes sense to know about divorce rights and the aspects of the process before deciding to file for a divorce. Here are some things you can do to become aware of the process
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- Find out what are the specific divorce laws for the state you reside in
- Become aware of the specific details that pertain to the issues for which you want to file the divorce
- The website of the state judiciary can provide helpful information; you can visit the library for more research too
- Try to find answers for the following
1. The aspects of the divorce process in the Court
2. The period required for the divorce to be granted in your specific case
3. Information you have to formally submit to initiate divorce proceedings
4. Custody of children and alimony as per the laws of your state
5. Property division of and for both partners
6. Resolving debt issues
7. Court and attorney fees
Knowing your rights and your responsibilities during a divorce process.