There’s no way around it: Divorce is complicated. Whether you’re just deciding to file or already deep in the thick of the proceedings, you already know what a stressful and emotional time it can be. That’s why it’s important to select a skilled divorce attorney – and to have a clear sense of what you need and want from a divorce settlement – long before the negotiations begin in earnest.
At Myers Family Law, our Granite Bay legal team can help you get to that point early on in the process, and help you understand exactly what will be required during a divorce. Because a judge will try to distribute your community property as fairly as possible, you may have to compromise in some areas to get what you truly want. That means it’s a good idea to know what to expect from the settlement negotiation process, and to have a rough idea of your own expectations coming into it.
Here are some of the biggest questions you may want to consider asking yourself.
How much financing do I need to maintain the same lifestyle?
The goal of spousal support, also known as alimony, is to ensure that neither spouse has to suffer financially because of the change in their circumstances. Honestly review your own financial situation, and ask yourself how much it would take to feel as comfortable and secure as you did during the marriage. Of course it’s important to be realistic here, and whether you were the primary breadwinner or part of a working team, you’ll need to factor in what your ex-spouse will ask for, too.
What role will I play in child care and custody?
Do you feel that you have a close personal relationship with your child? Are you usually the one preparing meals and getting them ready for bed every day, or are you more focused on earning for the family? These are the kinds of questions you should be asking, as you try to uncover what your actual role in child custody and visitation will be. While the judge will always consider the child’s best interests first, it’s important to have a clear answer for yourself, and to know which school and living arrangements would be least disruptive for your child.
What am I prepared to cover for my child?
From summer camp to braces to prom, there are a lot of unexpected expenditures that come with comprehensive child care. Although child support calculations should cover most of the everyday expenses, it’s important to be mindful of these “extras” too, as they can add up over time.
Which properties are really important to me?
Because California is a community property state, anything you’ve acquired during over the course of your marriage will most likely be divided 50-50. However, you may have some say in what constitutes community property, and what is separate property for each partner to keep. That’s why you should start thinking now about the properties that could go either way – and which ones you want to keep the most.
Got more questions about the divorce process or settlement negotiations? Call Myers Family Law today at (916) 634-0067 to speak with our skilled team in Placer County and surrounding areas.