Why It Is Important To Get Answers To Your Divorce And Support Questions
By Zachary Mushkatel on October 8, 2014
If you are considering filing for divorce, it is important to “know before you go.” What you do early in the process can have a big impact the final outcome of a divorce, whether in a settlement or in court. Are you concerned about the amount of spousal support or child support you could be due? Are you wondering if you will be able to keep the family home, or how the marital property will be split in a divorce? These are legitimate concerns, and divorces vary widely. Your first step is to discuss your situation with a legal professional who is skilled in family law, and has years of experience resolving difficult divorce issues. Get educated so you make the right decisions.
Child Support Questions
A lawyer can advise you about how the court determines the amount of child support that will be paid. Generally, the determination will be based upon several facts:
- Where the children will live; will the custody be shared?
- What is the income and earning capacity of each party in the divorce?
- What as the quality of life that was enjoyed by the children during the term of the marriage?
- What are the wishes of the children with regard to the living situation?
Generally, the court believes that children are best served by having equal access to the parents. Mothers and fathers have equal parental rights under the law. Situations in which a marriage had domestic violence affect how a decision will be made about child custody and the support each party will be required to pay. If you and your partner are generally amicable, an agreement between the two of you about child support can be arranged and this matter may not need court intervention. When the marriage has decayed to the point where communication is not possible, and all of these issues are likely to be contentious, it does not mean that an agreement could not be established through careful negotiations with the opposing attorney. In some cases, the other party will not yield, or is making unreasonable demands and the only option is a divorce trial. When it appears that this will be the case, the quality and experience of your attorney could not be more important with regard to the final outcome of your case.
Spousal Maintenance – Spousal Support
You may be eligible for spousal maintenance, based upon your individual situation. This issue is decided based upon several factors, including the following:
- The education level of each spouse.
- The earning capacity of each spouse.
- Whether one spouse contributed to the education of the other, with a professional degree obtained.
- The emotional health of each spouse.
- The financial resources of each party.
- The ability of each spouse to meet all financial needs through his or her own efforts.
- Whether expenditures by one spouse were unreasonable, such as luxury items, gambling, or misuse or an effort to hide assets.
- The costs of health care, and which party has been paying for health insurance.
- The physical heath of each party.
- Whether the other spouse has been convicted of a criminal act, including cases of domestic violence.
- The duration of the marriage.
Seeking Advice On Your Unique Situation
It is strongly advised that you seek counsel before you make any decisions about your divorce. It is crucial that you understand how state law will impact matters of support and property division before you move forward, allowing you to plan for the future, and to avoid any action that could impact the court’s decision about support. Each person and marriage is completely unique. Get help from an attorney and discuss these factors so you have a full understanding of state law and what to expect. A divorce settlement can be negotiated in many ways, and you may see a negative financial impact if all of the details are not carefully managed. Connect with Mushkatel, Robbins & Becker, PLLC and speak with our Phoenix divorce attorney so you are prepared for the process and know what to expect with regard to support.
Zachary Mushkatel is an Arizona native who earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Arizona in 2001 and his law degree from the University of Minnesota Law School in 2004. After serving as a public defender, he entered into private practice and, ultimately, joined forces with Mathis Becker to form the law firm known today as Mushkatel, Robbins & Becker, PLLC. In addition to criminal law, Mushkatel practices civil litigation, with a focus on estate litigation and personal injury cases. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Surprise Regional Chamber of Commerce and Sun Valley Lodge, and he is an executive officer and member of the Board of Directors for the West Maricopa County Bar Association.