Recently on our legal forum a user asked, “I have been married for 10 years. I have not been the perfect husband, but I have tried to make my marriage a success. My wife came home the other day and announced she wants a divorce. I would love to work towards reconciliation, but she says she is done. I know I need to talk to a divorce lawyer. Can you provide a divorce checklist about what I need to discuss with him? I have two children.”
Unfortunately, despite all our best efforts, sometimes a spouse is not willing to continue in a marriage. Although this is not want you want, you will need to prepare for the divorce. That will mean that you will need to talk to a divorce lawyer. To ensure your discussion with him is productive and efficient, you will need to make a checklist of issues to discuss.
Divorce Checklist issues to discuss with a divorce lawyer
- Child Support
Child support payments will be determined by state laws and may be different depending on the state in which you live. For example, in Texas a judge will determine how much child support will be paid based on the best interest of the child. Guidelines, however, exist which generally provide child support based on the percentage of a parent’s net income.
For example, you may be required to pay 25% of your income for two children. Other factors may also be considered including the availability of health insurance, educational expenses, activity fees, and available life insurance policies.
- Child Custody
Another very important issue to discuss with your divorce lawyer is custody. Child custody may be legal or physical. While you and your spouse may agree on a child custody agreement, the courts will have the final say and will ensure that it is in the best interest of the children.
- Property Issues
Texas property laws will determine how assets are divided after marriage. Property issues you will need to discuss with your lawyer include the equity in the home, personal property, memorabilia, wedding gifts, pensions, cars, boats, professional business holdings, savings and checking accounts, stocks and bonds, checking accounts, and debts.
- Spousal support
Although spousal support is not guaranteed, if a couple has been married for a long time and one spouse remained at home to support the husband or children they may be entitled to spousal support for a limited time. Other circumstances may also entitle one or the other spouse to child support. Discuss with your lawyer whether your wife is entitled to it and how much she might be entitled to receive.
- Attorney costs and fees
Do not sign any type of legal agreement without a full understanding of the costs and fees of hiring a lawyer. This will include court costs as well as filing fees. Before signing a legal agreement for service make sure that your lawyer will be reasonably available to you to answer questions. This does not mean they will be available every time you call or 24 hours per day, but they should return your calls within 24 hours and be supportive and helpful to your case.
Before talking to a divorce lawyer make a divorce checklist.
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