No matter how amicable your divorce is, it’s still a stressful experience. It’s easy to get overwhelmed during a divorce and forget to ask important questions. You may find, while going through such a major split, that you simply aren’t in the state of mind to think about all of the details, and this is where divorce attorneys can help you. If you’re going through a divorce, here are five important questions to ask your lawyer:
Am I Entitled to Benefits?
Many people aren’t aware that they may be entitled to a portion of their partner’s pension, insurance benefits or alimony. If you aren’t the main bread-winner in the family, a divorce can make a serious difference in the way that you live. If your spouse owns a business that you had a hand in building, you may be entitled to a portion of that business. There are several different types of benefits that you may be entitled to, and various factors can determine how much money you walk away with.
Will I Be Able to Keep My House?
If you want to keep your house, it’s important that you understand the property laws of your state. State property laws can differ greatly, and where you live can determine whether or not you are able to maintain possession of your home. For instance, in a community property state, all marital property must be split equally. In other states, property laws mandate that each spouse walks away with only what they brought in to the marriage.
When Will I See My Children?
There are literally dozens of ways that the custody of your children can be arranged. You can co-parent with your ex-spouse, you can maintain sole custody or you can share holidays, to name just a few common arrangements. If you and your soon-to-be ex aren’t able to hammer out a custody agreement on your own, your attorney can help you draft a proposed custody agreement that is fair to both you and your children.
How Will Our Debt be Divided?
If you’re worried about being forced to pay off your spouse’s debt after your divorce, don’t be. While you will typically be held responsible for at least a portion of the debts that you have taken on together, you won’t be responsible for your spouse’s sole debts. Student loans, tax debts and even credit card bills will be the responsibility of your spouse if your name isn’t on the application or account.
Can We Use the Same Lawyer?
You don’t have to use separate lawyers during a divorce. If your divorce is reasonably friendly, using one lawyer can be both beneficial and budget-friendly. When a couple chooses to use one attorney, the attorney doesn’t fight for one party, but will use their skills to help you draft a divorce agreement that is fair to the both of you. In these cases, an attorney acts similar to a mediator.
Don’t make the costly mistake of trying to represent yourself in a divorce. If you don’t know who to hire to help you, ask friends and family for the names of any divorce attorneys that they know. Alternatively, you can search online to find dozens of attorneys in the city. No matter who you choose to hire, having an attorney represent you in a divorce can help to ensure that you get all that you deserve.
Molly Henshaw is a freelance writer and law student living in the DC metro area. She is also a contributing writer for www.orlandodivorceteam.com where you can find an expert Orlando divorce attorney. It is an essential to hire a third party professional to help your divorce go smoothly!