Divorce And Child Custody FAQ

How long do we have to be separated to get divorced?

180 days if there are no children of the marriage or 365 days if the couple has children.

Are there other grounds for divorce besides separation?

Yes, adultery or a felony criminal conviction.

How much will this cost?

Divorce courts charge filing fees. Our office requires a retainer and we bill hourly for our services. If the parties can agree on most things, the cost can be fairly economical.

A contested divorce can end up costing thousands of dollars in court costs and legal fees if the couple continues to fight and cannot work out a settlement.

How do we divide our property?

Marital property is typically split evenly, unless you have a valid pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement. Assets owned by either of you before the marriage are considered "separate" property and not eligible to be split between the two of you.

How is custody decided?

Courts want to ensure that both parents remain an active part of their children's lives, if it is in the best interests of the child. They favor joint custody, unless one parent poses a danger to the kids. Moral fitness as it relates to the welfare of the child will be taken into consideration.

How much child support will I get?

The state's child support guidelines require consideration of both parents' gross income; any community property, assets, and debts; the number of children requiring support; extraordinary needs that affect the children requiring support; and whether a parent has any other minor children to support.

Will I get spousal support?

Spousal support is determined based on several factors, including the financial need of the spouse requesting support; each spouse's income and financial obligations; each spouse's earning capacity; the age and health of both spouses; and the length of the marriage.

Can We Reach a Marital Settlement Agreement out of Court?

Yes, and any unresolved issues can be worked out through mediation.

What happens if we don't agree on things?

If you are unable to agree on a settlement, you'll go to trial and a judge will determine child support, spousal support, custody and property division.

Remember, the more time you spend fighting, the higher your legal fees and court costs will be.