Everyone has heard horror stories about divorce in which one spouse seems to get everything and the other has nothing. While the perspective of those sharing the stories may be a little off, it is true that divorce settlements are not always equal. This may not be fair to the one paying more (or getting less) but in divorce, it is important to remember that fair does not mean equal.
If you and your spouse cannot create your own divorce agreement, you may find yourself dealing with attorneys who offer you less than you think you need – or who are saying you need to pay money than you want. Remember that you are paying the Divorce attorney to fight the battle for you, but you need to listen to his/her advice in regards to fair and equal.
In the case of divorce, courts consider many factors in determining what a fair settlement is. The court will consider who has been the primary breadwinner of the family and who has been the children’s main caregiver. Because staying at home and raising the children could drastically reduce a person’s ability to secure a well-paying job, the court may award that person more money than is equal. It is still fair.
This can also happen if the residential parent of the children can only work part-time after the divorce and still be able to properly care for the children. As the children grow up, support money may be reduced or eliminated. In the case of families with special needs children, child support money may continue indefinitely to help with their expenses or to provide funds to hire caretakers while the parent works.
When liabilities are divided, it is much the same. Often, whoever assumes ownership of an asset will be ordered to pay for it, such as a car or recreational vehicle. For other bills, such as credit cards, you may have to negotiate who pays for them. Again, don’t expect to split the amounts into equal halves. The sooner you understand that fair doesn’t mean equal, the sooner you can get your divorce finalized and move on with your life.
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