Working with an attorney, while dealing with divorce and family law issues means hearing and using a lot of terminology. If you don't have much experience with the family court system in the U.S., some of these concepts might seem a bit vague or unfamiliar. Let's take a look at three of the most important ones you'll want to learn about.
Common, communal, or community property refers to assets and liabilities that were accumulated over the course of a marriage. When a divorce attorney talks about property being divided up, this is mostly what they mean. It is possible for some assets and liabilities to be outside marital property, especially items that were acquired prior to the union. Depending on pre-marital agreements, certain properties may also be outside community boundaries based on mutual consent.
There are two kinds of support obligations a family attorney will talk about. Foremost in the mind of any judge is the support of children from a relationship. Parents have an obligation to provide the same standard of living, if possible, that a child had during a marriage.
The second kind of support is spousal support. This obligation is based on the idea that one party may incur obligations, based on previous support provided by the other spouse or due to financial hardships imposed by a divorce. Previous support is based on helping a partner at a specific time in their life. For example, one may have financially supported the other in getting their education, and that often entitles them to a bigger slice.
If one partner is likely to be put in a bad financial situation, the court will likely order the more advantaged party to pay them a portion of their income, for a certain span of time. Depending on the length of the marriage and the state where the divorce is taking place, this may range from months to years.
The authorizing mechanism of everything the court commands parties to do is called an order. Temporary orders are often entered, at the beginning of divorce, and custody processes to ensure children have homes. Once the court has had time to reason things out, a permanent order may be entered. If financial conditions change significantly, after an order has been entered, a party may request a modification. Usually, modifications are only allowed every few years, but extreme hardships, such as unemployment, may prompt immediate changes.
For help, contact a family law attorney.Share
3 July 2019
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