Legal Hassles - Information
Harlan Jacobsen Copyright © 2003
We held a Splitting Up Legal Aspect Workshop many years ago in Arizona and was a big success with many people in various stages of divorce attending.
We put together a great deal of information for them and all considered it well worth the time.
They also sometimes refuse to agree to something because they think they are being taken advantage of when they are not.
When you know what usually happens when you go to trial (only about ten per cent of cases go to trial), then you can usually agree out of court and put together a negotiated settlement.
Also popular in the seminar was the portion on doing your own divorce for under $50.00 and even how to become divorced if you didn't have a dime.
Several people in the classes have pointed out and encouraged us to run the splitting up workshop because they felt much of the traumatic effect could have been eliminated had they known before and during the divorce, what they know about divorce after the fact (too late).
Some of the misconceptions we noted at the workshop are centered around the house.
This is not necessarily true.
Usually, if there are children the wife will get the house (assuming she gets custody and she almost certainly will unless she is a child beater or completely incompetent) and the husband will get other assets to compensate for the house.
If she has no income or has never worked or cannot work because of the children she will probably get spousal maintenance (new word for alimony) for some period of time and one of the cost figures used to determine how much will be required is the cost of operating and maintaining the home.
Nationally the figure for spousal and maintenance and child custody averages out at 35% or less of the husband's net salary.
Also covered was a new joint custody concept. If you are a husband it is to your advantage to make more of it alimony since that is tax deductible and less child support.
Particularly if she is in all likelihood to get married again soon (alimony stops.)
Also recommmended were putting in an escalator clause to compensate for inflation and save you having to go back into court later to get more money to compensate for rising prices.
Usually salaries go up in relation to inflation and this way your support payments go up in a fair ratio too.
Also recommended was that your attorney ask for $1 spousal maintenance yearly, even though you might not want or need it.
If something should happen to you and you need it later you can go back in.
If there was not the $1, you cannot petition later if something happens.
An Indiana survey found for example that 85% of the fathers were either not paying at all or were behind, when a spouse loses his job, or gets married or gets injured or whatever or just decides he got rooked or is tired of the whole thing and skips, etc.
There is a great need for information about the legal process andneeds to be learned before the divorce is filed.
We suggest that you search and see if there are any such programs in your area and consider attending one of these workshops for pre-divorce and in the process..
Also it is to be noted that each state has their own laws and procedures...so you need to find out what goes locallly..
Related Information: What do I need to
know about many such legal hazards
Legal divorce short course....
Divorce: the real truth
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