Wednesday, February 7, 2007

What You Need To Know About Alimony And Child Support In A Divorce

What You Need To Know About Alimony And Child Support In A Divorce by Moses Wright


Alimony is designed to provide the lower-income spouse with money for living expenses. Some states refer to alimony as maintenance or spousal support. Each word refers to the same concept; one spouse providing funds to the other as part of a divorce agreement. Each state has different rules to determine how much support is paid. Alimony can be awarded for an indefinite or definite period of time. Alimony usually terminates upon remarriage of the recipient spouse.

Alimony is handled differently in the court than child support. Child support is determined by a mathematical formula used by the state for that purpose. This is a subjective process. It is a matter of determining the difference between what the custodial parent earns in relation to the income of the non-custodial parent and the needs of the child. Alimony is awarded at the discretion of the judge or by an agreement between the two parties to the divorce.

Another difference between child support and alimony is that child support is not tax deductible. Alimony payments are tax deductible to the party making the payments. Alimony must be claimed as income by the recipient party. Child support does not need to be claimed as income for tax purposes.

There are several factors a judge considers when deciding whether or not to grant alimony. Generally, courts consider the standard of living of the parties that was established during the marriage, and the circumstances of the case and of the parties. The judge will consider whether the party who is getting the award lacks sufficient property and income to provide for his/her reasonable needs and whether the party paying the alimony has sufficient property and income to provide for the other's reasonable needs.

The court may also consider each spouse's earning potential. The age and health of the parties and the length of the marriage can be factors the court considers to determine whether or not alimony is appropriate and the amount awarded. In the past, the wife was almost always the recipient of spousal support, but gender is no longer a consideration. If you live in a fault-based state, some courts consider the fault of the parties when determining support.

Because in today's society both parties to a divorce are often employed and thus jointly supported their lifestyle, alimony has become somewhat of a rarity. Temporary spousal support is sometimes instituted at the time of separation. This may be used to give an unemployed or under-employed spouse time to become financially independent. Even if alimony is awarded, both spouses often have difficulty maintaining the lifestyle they had during the marriage.

About the Author

Moses Wright is a webmaster of Divorce Papers. More information on A Divorce With Children and Divorce And Money Issues can be found on his website. You are welcome to reprint this article if you keep the Content and live link intact.

Is A Divorce Lawyer Needed In Order To Get Divorced?

Is A Divorce Lawyer Needed In Order To Get Divorced? by Moses Wright


In some cases, it is not mandatory that either party hire an attorney in order to get a divorce. A party to a divorce may represent themselves. However, someone doing their own divorce without legal counsel may be putting themselves at a serious disadvantage.

Most divorces are not straightforward unless there are no marital assets, children, debt, or other joint issues. If the divorce leads to litigation, then an attorney is definitely required. For a simple, uncontested divorce, a party to the divorce can prepare and file the divorce papers with the court. Don't attempt to represent yourself in court during an adversarial divorce.

The necessary divorce documents are available online and in books specifically tailored to the divorce laws of each state. Preparing and filing your own divorce documents can save you money, but what can seem like a savings can cost you in the end. Some online divorce document preparation services cost almost as much as an uncontested divorce through an attorney. The court will also charge fees to file the documents. It would be wise to meet with an attorney for a consultation to evaluate the cost of having them represent you in the divorce. Many attorneys offer a free consultation. If there is little or no savings in doing the uncontested divorce yourself, than why do it alone?

Even if you stand to save a few hundred dollars in doing the divorce yourself, you may end up losing more in the end. An attorney is a source of information for you. Attorneys can answer your questions and give you advice about the terms of the divorce. If there is any marital property or if there are children involved, attempting a do-it-yourself divorce can be a big mistake.

In certain circumstances, handling your own divorce without legal representation is definitely not a good idea. If the parties to the divorce are disputing child custody, then a lawyer is necessary. If one party believes that they or the children are not safe around the other party, then the party looking to protect the children needs the help of an attorney to do so. If one party to the divorce believes that their spouse is taking joint assets or hiding assets, they will need the help of a lawyer to prove it and receive what they deserve.

Given the complexity of the issues, it may be beneficial to employ the services of a professional who is knowledgeable with the law in your state and experienced in the field even if you don't expect any difficulty.

About the Author

Moses Wright is a webmaster of Divorce Papers. More information on A Divorce With Children and Divorce And Money Issues can be found on his website. You are welcome to reprint this article if you keep the Content and live link intact.

Practical Tips For Choosing The Right Missouri Divorce Lawyer

Practical Tips For Choosing The Right Missouri Divorce Lawyer by Karin Manning


Choosing your Missouri divorce lawyer could be one of the most important things you do in your divorce. Making a decision to finally divorce is a difficult and very emotional process. That's why it's critical that you find the right Missouri divorce attorney to help you handle this very difficult and painful time in your life.

Divorce decisions are usually finally so it's very important to pay close attention when choosing your Missouri divorce lawyer. If you want to change to a different Missouri divorce lawyer in the future after you have hired one, you may not be able to. Often you need to get permission of the judge hearing your matter before you can change your Missouri divorce lawyer or substitute Missouri divorce lawyers. Additionally, if your decision to change Missouri divorce lawyers is too close to the date of your hearing the Judge may be hesitant to make such a change.

Changing Missouri divorce lawyers is more expensive than you may initially think. When you first hire a Missouri divorce lawyer they will usually ask for a retainer (an advance in their legal fees). Sometimes, these retainers are refundable if you suddenly do decide to change Missouri divorce attorneys. However, you are still obligated to pay the fair amount to the first Missouri divorce lawyer for the work he has already done for you, even if you fire them in the future. Moreover, some Missouri divorce retainers are non refundable.

At the end of the day, it all depends on what divorce fee agreement or contract you may have signed prior to hiring the services of your Missouri divorce lawyer. If the Missouri divorce contract clearly states that the retainer is refundable, then you're lucky and in the clear. However, if the Missouri divorce attorney contract says that it is non refundable, then changing Missouri divorce attorneys is something you will want to consider very carefully before making any rash decisions.

In any case, make sure that there is a clear and concise written agreement between yourself and your Missouri divorce lawyer and that it contains the items you have mutually agreed upon. Do not rely upon a mere oral understanding or a verbal agreement as this won't hold up in court.

Qualities to Look for In A Missouri divorce lawyer

Choosing a Missouri divorce lawyer is similar to choosing a general practitioner. When you are preparing to give birth you take the care to find a good doctor to handle your prenatal care and delivery. For example, these are the kind of qualities that you would look for in a medical practitioner:

* They are a specialist in obstetrics * They haev extensive experience in obstetrics * They are Board-certified in obstetrics * You feel very comfortable with them and trust them implicitly with your prenatal care.

The same factors should be considered when choosing a Missouri divorce lawyer:

* They are a specialist in divorce law * They have experience in divorce law * They undertake ongoing legal education courses in divorce law * They have passed the bar in your state * You feel comfortable with them and trust them implicitly that they will do the right thing by you

Where to Look For A Missouri Divorce Attorney That's Right For You

Start by asking your close friends, family, or any acquaintance who has recently gone through a Missouri divorce or knows someone who does. Ask them what they liked about their Missouri divorce lawyer and if given the chance, would they hire them again. If they don't recommend them for your Missouri divorce then ask why they wouldn't recommend them to you. This will be a good guide of what you should look out for and avoid when choosing your Missouri divorce attorney.

You can also contact your local courthouse and local bar association. Bar associations usually have their own lawyer referral programs which are a good way for you to get good recommendations on a Missouri divorce attorney.

About the Author

Are you going through a Missouri divorce? Did you know statistically a man who doesn't have the right information is more likely to lose a great deal like your home, assets, children, and legal divorce fees. Find out what your ex and her divorce attorney don't want you to know by visiting http://www.divorcesecrets.getwhatyouwant1.com today!

How To Find The Right Divorce Lawyer In Michigan

How To Find The Right Divorce Lawyer In Michigan by Karin I Manning


Making a decision to finally divorce is a difficult and very emotional process. That's why it's critical that you find the right Michigan divorce attorney to help you handle this very difficult and painful time in your life.

The Value of Referrals To Help You Find The Right Michigan Divorce Attorney

The first thing you need to understand is that finding a Michigan divorce attorney that is right for you and your divorce needs is a lot like finding a good auto mechanic or a plumber. It's important to ask people you know in Michigan who have either used a Michigan divorce lawyer or know people that have that can recommend a Michigan divorce lawyer to you. Getting the right Michigan divorce lawyer recommendation could save you tens of thousands of dollars in the long run.

So if you want to find a Michigan divorce attorney who suits your divorce needs perfectly, the best place for you to start would be your closest friends and advisers. If any of them has gone through a divorce they should be able to recommend a Michigan divorce attorney to use - or even to avoid.

In addition, you may wish to consult with social or business acquaintances to see if they've used a Michigan divorce lawyer themselves.

Your final avenue of research for the ideal Michigan divorce lawyer could be also want to check professional societies for a qualified Michigan divorce attorney. Leave the Yellow Pages as an absolute last resort as word of mouth is a much more reliable research tool.

Questions To Ask A Michigan Divorce Attorney

Once you have decided on a select few Michigan divorce attorneys that have been recommended to you, it's time for you to schedule your first consultation with them. This is usually free. If it's not, ask that it can be. If the Michigan divorce attorney charges you for this initial consultation then he's more than likely not worth it.

This initial consultation with the Michigan divorce attorney is important for you to determine whether you feel comfortable unloading all your divorce troubles with the Michigan divorce attorney and whether you can trust him or her with your information. Think of it as a test of some kind. They should not be charging you for this. Michigan divorce attorneys make enough money without having to get it at this initial stage.

Be sure to ask every Michigan divorce attorney a lot of questions. The more, the better. There are no stupid questions. One of the most important things to discuss with the Michigan divorce attorney at this stage is the fees involved for representing you in your Michigan divorce. You should know the hourly rate, how portions of the hours are billed, and the approximate total cost of the divorce, given the issues you have brought up during the interview with the Michigan divorce attorney.

Choose a Specialist Michigan Divorce Attorney

You would not want just a general physician to perform brain surgery on you. Of course, you are going to look for a brain surgeon who is competent and has a vast amount of experience in this field. The situation is quite similar when looking for Michigan divorce attorneys. You do not want a general practitioner to handle your divorce when there is a specialist who knows more about the subtle nuances involved in a Michigan divorce case such as yours.

Your Michigan divorce attorney should have experience handling divorce cases in the past. Make sure also that the Michigan divorce attorney has taken up continuing legal education, especially concerning new Michigan divorce statutes or provisions passed. The law is dynamic, never static. It changes over time and a Michigan divorce attorney must be able to keep up with these changes.


About the Author

Are you going through a Michigan divorce? Did you know statistically a man who doesn't have the right information is more likely to lose a great deal like your home, assets, children, and legal divorce fees. Find out what your ex and her divorce attorney don't want you to know by visiting http://www.divorcesecrets.getwhatyouwant1.com today!

There is a common statistic Information on Finding a Divorce Lawyer in Dallas, Texas

There is a common statistic Information on Finding a Divorce Lawyer in Dallas, Texas by Casey Miller


There is a common statistic that states half of all marriages in the United States will end in divorce. If you find yourself preparing to divorce your spouse, or your spouse is preparing to divorce you, it is a wise idea to arm yourself with as much information you can get. In the world of divorce, as well as any other legal procedure that can profoundly affect your life, you need an experienced professional in your corner to help you navigate the challenges of the divorce process. You need someone who has received years of training in family law and who knows all the ins and outs of the Dallas legal system by your side. While many lawyers will take divorce cases, you should avoid those that specialize in other areas (for example, DWI attorneys should be utilized for a DWI case--a wrongful death attorney should be utilized in a wrongful death case--not for a divorce case). This is where retaining your Dallas divorce lawyer comes in.
Your Dallas divorce lawyer will be your greatest ally in the potentially challenging marital dissolution process. You may have a very simple divorce, where you and your spouse both agree to amicably divorce and have no custody or property issues to dispute. In such a case, the costs and time spent will be minimal compared to a case that has custody or property battles at the forefront. Whether your divorce is simple or complicated, you need a Dallas divorce lawyer to obtain it.
A brief summary of the basic divorce process in Texas:
1. The divorce process begins with the filing of the first petition, called the "Original Petition for Divorce." This document could be very short or very long, depending on your individual circumstances including children and property issues. If you want to review this petition before it is delivered to your spouse and filed, please let your Dallas divorce lawyer know as soon as possible.
2. The petition gets filed and your case is assigned to a court. Each county has one or more courts to handle family law. In Dallas there happen to be seven family law courts. Courts are chosen randomly. You or your attorney are not able to request a particular court.
3. Next comes the discovery phase. Discovery is where one spouse learns what applies to the divorce suit. This may include methods such as depositions, requests for documents and records and interrogations. Your Dallas divorce lawyer will tell you everything you need to know regarding the discovery process and what your role will be.
4. Tax issues: The matter of state and federal income taxes will be addressed. It is extremely probable that both you and your spouse will be jointly responsible for any income taxes owed on any return that was filed jointly. Your Dallas divorce lawyer can explain all the details of this if you have any questions.
5. Alimony and Child Support: Depending on your individual circumstances relating to finances and children, you may or may not be dealing with alimony and child support issues at this point. At this time the court will consider the needs of the requesting spouse and/or children, as well as the ability of the other spouse to pay, and how much.
6. Changing Your Name: At this point you can request a name change if you are a woman who wishes to resume use of her maiden surname. Your Dallas divorce lawyer can prepare all the paperwork for you and guide you through this process.

Keep in mind that unexpected financial troubles often follow divorce. Prepare yourself for the worst by contacting a bankruptcy attorney beforehand.


About the Author

Casey Miller publishes his copyright-free work on www.dallas-criminal-attorney.org

Divorce Lawyer Costs - 4 Costly Mistakes to Avoid

Divorce Lawyer Costs - 4 Costly Mistakes to Avoid by Steve C


The overall cost of your divorce can be impacted by several behaviors you may be able to control. When a marriage dissolves there are several important topics that need to be addressed and sorted out such as child custody and visitation, division of property, and support. Recognizing the following 4 behaviors and how to manage them ahead of time may be able to help your divorce lawyer properly gather the information he/she needs to put your case together and can reduce your divorce costs at the same time.

(1) Having unclear objectives
(2) Being overly enmeshed in your case
(3) Using your lawyer as a therapist
(4) Expecting justice in the courts

Having unclear objectives
One of the biggest mistakes you can make at the outset of your divorce is to not know what it is you hope to accomplish. Before you begin filing or responding to divorce motions, you would be wise to discuss your goals, objectives, and what results you can likely expect with your divorce lawyer. Having such a discussion with your divorce lawyer can help reduce the chances of unnecessary litigation, help you understand what you can likely expect through your divorce, and what the costs may likely be.

Being overly enmeshed in your case
Divorce typically deals with topics that bring about high emotions and intensity, which may result in a spouse becoming overly indulged or enmeshed in his/her case. When this happens, it is not uncommon for a spouse to supply large amounts of irrelevant research material to his/her divorce lawyer, which can drive up the costs of attorney fees. Additionally, a spouse that is enmeshed in his/her case, may begin micromanaging their divorce lawyer's work, which can create more work for his/her divorce lawyer and be counter productive. Setting clear objectives and goals and knowing what to expect from your divorce lawyer in advance can help reduce the tendency to become overly enmeshed in your case.

Using your lawyer as a therapist
Due to the high emotions that typically go along with divorce, it is not uncommon for spouses to begin venting or discussing problems they had in their marriage or how they feel about the other spouse with their divorce lawyer. Many times, these types of discussions are strictly emotionally based, add no value to the client's case, and are discussion better suited for a therapist, not a divorce lawyer. Divorce lawyers are typically concerned with facts, not feelings. Additionally, the time a spouse spends in these types of emotional communications with his/her divorce lawyer can add up in costs very quickly. Before initiating communication with your divorce lawyer, decide if the communication is strictly to vent or to pass on worthwhile information on to him/her.

Expecting justice in the courts
Spouses many times believe that if they can just have their day in court, justice will prevail. Spouses who believe that the courts are going to give them justice are often misguided and end up extremely disappointed with the results. Better results and happier divorce endings are often accomplished through mediation and/or stipulated agreements. When a judge makes a decision, it is rarely a win-win decision for both spouses. To manage your expectations of justice in the family courts, you would be wise to consult your divorce lawyer to help you determine what results you can likely expect if your case goes to trial.

© 2006 Child Custody Coach

About the Author

Child Custody Coach provides child custody information and help. "How to Win Child Custody" is a custody strategy guide. Custody Match help you find a divorce lawyer, family law attorney, or child custody attorney.

Divorce Lawyer Communication - How to Enhance Your Communication with Your Attorney

Divorce Lawyer Communication - How to Enhance Your Communication with Your Attorney by Steve C


There are several ways in which you can communicate with your divorce lawyer, but some methods may be more effective than others. When a marriage dissolves there are several important topics that need to be discussed and sorted out such as child custody and visitation, division of property, and support. Communicating effectively with your attorney about such issues will help your lawyer properly gather the information he/she needs to put your case together and can reduce your attorney fees at the same time.

In-Person
Meeting with your attorney in-person when there is an extensive amount of material to go through is often a wise choice. When you meet with an attorney face-to-face there is less chance for distraction and it is more likely you will have the attorney's undivided attention. Any material you or your attorney may have can be reviewed and any questions can be addressed. Each party will have an equal opportunity to discuss and cover any important details. Additionally, the amount of time spent in an in-person meeting is traceable and should be reflected accurately on your attorney bill.

E-mail
Assuming your attorney checks his/her e-mail regularly, email communications with your attorney can be very effective, especially if a response is not needed immediately or an attachment needs to be sent. Unlike faxes, there is usually no charge to receive an e-mail. However, there will be a cost for your attorney to review and respond to your e-mail. Therefore, it is extremely important to keep your e-mail concise and to the point. This is often a difficult adjustment for those who have a tendency to write wordy e-mails. Further, depending on how savvy your attorney is with technology, he/she may spend more time in an e-mail communication than if the message were communicated via phone or fax. Further, the amount of time an attorney actually spends in an e-mail communication is virtually untraceable, so you will want to closely monitor your bill to make sure the charges are reasonable.

Telephone
One of the most common forms of communication you may have with your attorney may be via telephone. Telephone communications can be very effective, especially when you or your attorney have a quick question. Such communication is quick and timely. Additionally, the time spent on the telephone is the most traceable form of communication. The time spent on the phone may be recorded on your phone bill and should be reflected accurately on your attorney bill. However, problems may arise when more than a couple questions need to be covered. Long telephone calls can be subject to distractions and retaining large amounts of information can become an issue.

Fax
Communications with your attorney via fax can be very useful. For example, when a lengthy document needs to be reviewed or if your signature is required on a document (and a faxed copy of your signature is acceptable), faxes can save you an unnecessary trip to your attorney's office or the wait time associated with mailings. Like the postage fee for a mailing, there may be a cost associated with the fax, such as the call charge or the time a person in your attorney's office had to stand in front of the fax to send or receive documents.

Mailing
Communications with your attorney via mail can be very effective when a reviewing of a particular document is not extremely urgent. Additionally, any serious issues or requests you may need to make upon your attorney may be best done in writing. Mailings are a common way attorney's keep their client informed or on copy of all filings and communications with opposing counsel. Mailings are easy to organize and typically easy to manage.

There are several ways in which you can communicate with your divorce lawyer and choosing the right method can significantly enhance your communication with him/her. When a marriage dissolves there are several important topics that need to be discussed and sorted out such as child custody and visitation, division of property, and support. Communicating effectively with your attorney about such issues will help your lawyer properly gather the information he/she needs to put your case together and can reduce your attorney fees at the same time.

© 2006 Child Custody Coach

About the Author

Child Custody Coach provides child custody information and help. "How to Win Child Custody" is a custody strategy guide. Custody Match help you find a divorce lawyer, family law attorney, or child custody attorney.