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Family Law Attorneys and Division Of Assets In A Divorce, Choosing The Best Fit For Your Family

April 24, 2010  

A divorce and division of assets can be a painful and confusing process. A good family law attorney will be able to advise you on issues such as the division of marital assets, real property division, spousal support and the division of retirement accounts and pensions. In this field there is no such thing as a stupid question, family law attorneys are there to help.

A divorce can be a difficult and painful process. It is very important that you make sure the attorney you choose is experienced in the field of family law and is a good fit for your family situation.

One of the tools a family law attorney may employ while negotiating the division of assets and debts is an Asset & Liability Statement. The purpose of an Asset & Liability Statement is to help both parties identify what will be considered marital property (owned by both parties) or non-marital (owned by only one party). This document can be an important bargaining chip in settlement negotiations or at trial.

In many cases the most sticky issue in a divorce is the division of personal property such as jewelry, furniture, electronics, appliances, and cars, most family law attorneys will begin by engaging in settlement negotiation with the opposing counsel or party to see if a reasonable resolution can be reached out of court, this can be a lengthy and challenging process which is why it is a good idea to have a unbiased third party such as an attorney involved. If settlement negotiations fail, this may be an issue to be resolved at trial or in an issue specific hearing.

So, lets say you owned a home prior to the marriage, and your spouse made no major contribution to the improvement or maintenance of the home, they may not be entitled to 50% of the value of the property, however, they may be entitled to 50% of the increase in equity in the property from the date of marriage.

Division of retirement and pension benefits can be another contentious issue in a divorce. In many cases this issue may require a QDRO (Qualified Domestic Relation Order) attorney to draft an order regarding this division to supplement the final Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage.

Spousal support is another issue in a divorce which can drain your assets. Spousal support awards vary from case to case and are dependent on issues such as the length of the marriage, work experience and training of the receiving party, level of education completed and child care costs. Again, this is a complicated issue which is best addressed by a family law attorney.

In the end it is always the court’s objective to reach a “fair and equitable” resolution to all of the contentious issues in a divorce, including but not limited to the division of the marital assets and debts.

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