When you make the decision to get a divorce, it may not be something that you can handle on your own, and that's okay. A divorce attorney can be helpful in a number of ways, from getting you the monetary settlement that you deserve to helping you fight for full custody of the children if that route is taken. If you are going in to speak to an attorney, here are a few questions that you will want to ask and receive answers for:
1. How Much Is This Going to Cost?
Every divorce is different, so it may be impossible to give you a 100 percent accurate amount. However, after reviewing the details of your case, a lawyer should be able to give you a ballpark estimate of what it is going to cost. At the very least, the attorney can provide you with the amount of the fees that he or she will charge as well as the filing fees.
2. How Is Spousal and Child Support Calculated?
In both instances, there are several factors that are taken into consideration. For spousal support (or alimony), some factors considered are the standard of living during your marriage, current income of each spouse, earning capacity of both spouses, interest of children, duration of marriage, and possibly even fault of the divorce. For child support, the basic elements considered include both parent's income, the financial needs of the child, the standard of living prior to divorce, the paying parent's ability to pay, the income needs of the parent who will receive the support, family structure and the age of the child.
3. How Will Property and Assets Be Divided?
Hopefully, you and your spouse can agree on who gets what in the divorce. But, just in case, you will want to be informed of where exactly you stand before things end up getting bad. Ultimately, the way property and assets are divided boils down to whether you reside in a community property state, such as Texas or New Mexico, and whether or not the property is marital (which would mean community) or separate property.
For example, if you purchase a house after you get married, then it is both you and your spouse's home – aka community, or marital, property. If you inherit a house while married and it is only your name on the deed, then it is considered separate property. It is also separate property if you purchase a home prior to your marriage and do not put your spouse's name on the deed. If you opt to add your spouse's name to the deed, then that separate property becomes community property.
To learn the answers to more divorce questions, make sure to prepare a list to take with you to your initial consultation. Be sure to consult with a reputable lawyer, like those at Blumenauer Hackworth and other firms.