Disclaimer: This article does not constitute legal advice. If you have any questions about your individual situation, it is best to seek the advice of an experienced legal professional.
The decisions you make during your divorce can affect your life for years. While you may already have gone through the process of splitting up some of your personal effects, you still have a long way to go toward reaching an agreement to submit to the court. During your mediation sessions, you can expect to cover four main issues that commonly arise during divorce. Thinking about them now helps you have an idea of what you want when you have your first mediation session. The team from Divorce Options San Diego—professionals who are transforming the divorce process with expert San Diego divorce mediation couples rely on for customized divorce solutions—offer the following explanations of the most common issues in divorce.
1. The Division of Property and Debts
As a general rule, California considers any property and debts accrued during a marriage to be community property. In some cases, things that were owned before the marriage may need to be included in the agreement. For instance, one of you may have owned a house before the marriage, but both of you have invested heavily in remodeling it over the years. If you get stuck on decisions about who will keep the house or pay off a credit card, your mediator can let you know what the court typically expects to see regarding the division of property.
2. Child Custody & Visitation
Parental responsibility is another major issue you need to talk about with your spouse. Child custody involves selecting which parent will provide the primary residence for your child. You’ll also need to discuss how you’ll handle important decisions regarding your child’s medical care, education, and other pertinent aspects of his or her life. In many cases, parents choose to share in making these decisions for their children. The parent the child doesn’t live with the majority of the time may also want to have an established visitation plan in place.
3. Spousal Support
In California, it may be necessary for one spouse to pay the other some form of support during and after the divorce. This is usually the case when one spouse has stayed home to raise the children while the other worked. Spousal support may also be provided to someone who is disabled and out of the workforce. You’ll need to discuss how much spousal support needs to be paid, and you can establish a date for when the support will end, which may depend on multiple factors, such as the person’s skill set and his or her likelihood of finding a suitable job following the divorce.
4. Child Support
If you have children, you’ll need to decide how much support the noncustodial parent must pay. This is another area where many factors can apply, so it’s important to avoid simply going by what you hear other parents say they pay or receive. The amount of child support required should be enough to maintain the standard of living the child enjoyed before the divorce. There may also be special circumstances that increase how much support is needed, such as a health issue that requires special medication or equipment.
No matter what issues you and your spouse need to resolve, all the practical, legal, financial, and psychological aspects of fair, respectful divorce agreements can be managed by Divorce Options San Diego’s experienced, trustworthy San Diego divorce mediators. Couples can rely on our comprehensive process, which is so thorough there won’t be a need for attorneys. To learn how we can help you with every facet of your divorce, call us today at 858-281-2628.