Given the emotional weight of a divorce, it can be difficult to think clearly about the complex legal issues at hand. The stress divorce imposes has led many women to settle for less than they should have. While no one wants their divorce to drag out over a long period of time, you only get one opportunity to get it right. A woman seeking divorce must work with a divorce lawyer for women. You can find one in Columbus, Ohio.
Divorce attorneys that work exclusively with women are on the rise. Women face many hidden obstacles on their way through the court system. Courts tend to award men more fairly than women in divorce cases, and women often ask for less than they should. Few people truly know their rights and how the system works. However, if you get informed, you can make the most of your situation. Here’s some top advice from the best divorce lawyer for women.
Ask a Divorce Lawyer for Women: What Should a Woman Ask for in a Divorce Settlement?
What Are You Entitled To?
The first step in any divorce settlement is to tally up your assets. Before you can determine your slice of the pie, it helps to know how big the pie is in the first place. In Colombus, Ohio, all divorces follow Ohio law. Courts use the “equitable distribution” rule, which often essentially works out to a 50/50 split. However, courts do have leeway to adjust the distribution if they believe it would be more equitable or fairer to one party.
The longer you have been together, the more likely you will receive a larger settlement. Other aspects of your marriage can help tilt the scales in your favor. For instance, women, especially mothers and housewives, often earn less than men because of their inability to further their careers due to family responsibilities. But that domestic work has immense value, even if you weren’t paid directly. A divorce lawyer for women will calculate your true worth before you sign an agreement.
Marital vs Separate Property
With your assets calculated, the next step is figuring out how much of those assets are marital and what portion are separate. Marital assets are those acquired during your marriage, while separate assets are those you brought into the marriage. Marital assets are usually split down the middle with little dispute. However, separate property is where divorce agreements can get more complicated. Courts may order one spouse to forfeit their separate property as part of a divorce settlement.
Of course, when this happens, it is likely to be challenged. You will need good arguments for why this property should be considered marital. Nevertheless, a good attorney knows how to make a compelling case. The most common example is the house. Even if your spouse owned that home before marrying you, you may have lived in that home for many years more. And all that time, you maintained it and invested labor into it. You deserve a piece.
Alimony, legally termed “spousal support” in Columbus, Ohio, is a monthly payment from one spouse to another. To determine how much spousal support should be paid, the court will look at your average incomes during your marriage and your current incomes. Then, they’ll measure the difference. If you’ve made less than your spouse, you may be able to receive a portion of the difference. However, spousal support goes both ways; if you were the breadwinner you may have to pay.
How long you were married will impact how long you receive spousal support payments. The most important factor in calculating alimony is the length of the marriage. A ten-year marriage might result in 3-4 years of alimony payments, for example. Courts may take other factors into consideration, however. Though rare, divorces filed under grounds of abuse or even adultery could impose a sort of “alimony penalty” on the other spouse, extending payments further into the future.
If you intend to continue raising your children under your roof, you absolutely should seek child support payments in addition to spousal support. Even if your children reside with your former spouse, you may still receive some amount of child support based on your income difference and how many days they will spend with you. If you can barely afford to provide for the children for a weekend, you may still receive child support payments to cover those days.
A divorce attorney for women will make a strong case for a better award due to expenses that haven’t been factored in. For example, even in a joint custody agreement, taking the kids a few days may mean higher expenses on gas and food or even call for additional purchases to make your house safer or to have a suitable car to transport the children. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that only the primary custodial parent receives child support.
Divorce can drag on, during which time you may not be able to live with your spouse. This can impose severe expenses on you suddenly, and you may not have enough assets to make it on your own. Your divorce attorney can request the court to approve “temporary orders” or “temporary assistance” agreements that start child support and spousal support payments immediately. This way, you don’t have to wait for resolution.
These orders could include a down payment for an apartment or a weekly stipend for a few months. They will be cut off once a final divorce agreement is reached. With this, we’ve covered everything you ought to consider asking for. Now the question is, will you be able to reach such an agreement?
Dissolution or Divorce
In a perfect world, both parties would sit down, agree on how to divide property, settle on a mutually agreeable amount of support payments, and have their marriage dissolved by the court in a matter of minutes. Unfortunately, though, that is rarely how events unfold. Especially when a woman knows her rights and vows to go after her fair share, spouses become even more defensive. Expect to disagree on several points.
A dissolution is only possible if both parties agree to terms. If not, then you will have to file for divorce and proceed to a trial. Both sides will make their cases and the court will seek the fairest outcome possible. This is where it becomes essential to have a lawyer on your side. If you do have to file for divorce, there is one other variable you can consider that may make a dissolution easier.
Fault vs No-Fault
Columbus, Ohio still allows for a spouse to file for a “fault divorce” under various grounds. For instance, if your spouse cheated on you, you could file for divorce on grounds of adultery. Bear in mind that this will require you to prove your accusations. While this may seem like unnecessary work, it may be a good way to force your partner’s hand if they did in fact break your wedding vows.
Talk Woman to Woman
No divorce is ever easy. But we can at least make it simple for you. Woodford Sathappan McGee provides legal services for women, by women. Contact WSM today to learn how we can help you get through your divorce and have a successful future afterward.