Before you begin your divorce, it is important that you are prepared. Divorce is a legal process, and as such it comes with rather complex issues that you need to know how to handle in order to protect yourself, your children, and your assets. To get started, find out what these 5 key divorce terms mean and why you need to understand them.
1. Alimony: Also called spousal support, alimony is the payment from one spouse to the other after the marriage. This payment usually occurs because one spouse has less earning power than the other due to certain duties or responsibilities he or she took on during their marriage together. This payment is intended as a temporary payment that can help the receiving spouse get back on his or her feet by obtaining a degree, a new job, or so on.
2. Child Support: Like alimony payments, child support is a financial payment from one parent to another. However, unlike alimony payments, child support payments are for the benefit of the child, not the other parent. Child support is to be used to improve the life of the child through financial assistance for food, clothing, school supplies, living expenses, and so on. Typically, they will be paid to the parent with primary custody of the child.
3. Community Property: When you seek a divorce, one of the biggest steps of the process is dividing the marital assets. These assets may be referred to as community property. Anything shared in the marriage is considered community property, and is subject to division upon the event of divorce. However, some possessions may belong only to one spouse, which means it is not a part of the community property.
4. Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements: These documents, created either before or during the marriage, are designed to protect the assets of each spouse in the event of divorce. If you are seeking a divorce and you had one of these documents, it should simplify certain aspects, such as property division or child custody.
5. Modifications: The court orders dictated in your divorce need not always be final. In many instances, modifications will be made in order to accommodate changes in family life or personal relationships. Certain life changes may warrant an adjustment to court orders regarding child support, custody, spousal support, and other aspects. If one parent relocates, for example, the custody arrangement may need to be modified.
Contact Ford & Friedman today to get started on your case.