You have decided to
divorce or are in the middle of your divorce. Have you thought about your long
term goals? Have you decided which issues are the most important to you?
A true reflection on your short term and long term goals can help you
resolve your divorce much faster, as long as you are reasonable.
Most of my clients say the most important thing is to provide for and protect
their children. For some parents that may mean
joint custody where the children have substantial time with both parents while for others
it may be more restrictive or
sole custody due to domestic violence, drug or alcohol abuse or other health limitations.
Some parents are able to consult with their spouses when there are major
decisions, others cannot do so.
For some clients a major issue is making sure that there is enough money
to maintain the family home for the children (
child support) and meet the monthly expenses for the parent (
maintenance) and the children or, from the other point of view, making sure that there
is enough money for the non-custodial parent to meet their expenses. This
may involve determining the "real" income for a self-employed
or off the books earner.
For clients without children the issue may be as simple as just
dividing agreed upon assets and finalizing the divorce. Other clients just want a legal separation
so that they can continue to receive health insurance benefits. Clearly
different goals for different situations.
In some cases the issues of custody are resolved but there are issues as
to the amount of marital assets and whether either person is entitled
to credits for separate property.
So while the number of issues can be varied, if you can identify the most
important ones to you there will be focus by you and your attorney to
get you to the finish line.