It is not uncommon to think of a divorce as overwhelming. After child-related issues, making sure each party receives an equitable share of the marital estate can be one of the most contentious aspects of a divorce. Spouses can disagree over what is considered marital property, what is considered separate property, or argue over when or how property was acquired. Separate property can become marital property when comingled with other marital assets and go from separate to being an asset that is included in the marital pie. Sometimes, divorce is further complicated when the marital estate is made up of debt, and how debt will be divided. Separate assets might be awarded to the other party where a martial estate is insufficient. We can help you advocate in those instances. Our attorneys are skilled in helping you discover and obtain information about available assets subject to division and educating you on your legal rights so that you receive your fair share.
From ensuring that everything is listed in the financial disclosures, to conducting discovery to make sure financial information is accurately or fully reported, or by helping to negotiate an equitable settlement, we will be with you each step of the way.
What is Marital Property?
It is not uncommon for one or both parties to acquire various assets over the lifetime of a marriage through their work. Marital assets may range from cash, bank accounts, investments, businesses, real property used in the business, the family home, rental properties, stocks, mutual funds, vehicles, boats, pensions, IRAs, retirement accounts, cryptocurrency, patents, collections and other various types of tangible and intangible personal property.
Our team will help you better understand the pros and cons of your financial situation, sharing our skills to identify and classify assets as marital or separate, making appropriate arguments for invasion or recharacterization of assets, helping you identify and employ financial experts to value the more complex assets such as real property, business interests, as well as other intangible assets.
We are solutions based. We focus on your unique circumstances and particular case goals. Whether your case is amicable and straight forward, or not so much, whether your spouse is hiding or moving assets, or is blocking you from the financial information to know what assets were acquired during your marriage, call us for help. We will give you options and help you understand the pros and cons with a solutions-based approach for your better life.
We also understand the challenging emotional and financial aspects of separating from a spouse and the need for temporary support or spousal support in the final judgment to be entered. Furthermore, we recognize that the outcome of a divorce can have lasting and intergenerational impacts for you and your family.
Spousal support is financial support paid from one spouse to the other for living expenses during and after the divorce. Where both parties are working and able to support themselves, it is generally barred and all financial ties between spouses come to an end. However, spousal support may be appropriate depending upon the circumstances. It could be generally appropriate when:
- The parties’ incomes are drastically different
- The marriage is long term (generally over 10 years)
- Once a spouse is physically or otherwise disabled, and unable to work full-time
- One spouse has been out of the work force and has been primarily responsible for caring for the children or other dependents before and/or after the divorce
- Fault may be a factor
Unlike child support, spousal support is less objective. The factors the Court will consider are:
- Age of the parties
- Health of the parties
- Contributions to the marital estate by each party
- A party’s fault in causing the breakdown of the marriage
- Past relations and conduct of the parties
- Length of the marriage
- Each party’s ability to work
- The source and amount of property awarded to each party and whether any property awarded is income-producing
- Parties’ ages
- A party’s ability to pay spousal support
- The needs of each party
- The prior standard of living enjoyed by the parties and whether a party supports others
- Dissipation of the marital estate by a party to frustrate the other party’s receipt of an equitable share
- Cohabitation and its impact on a parties’ financial resources
- General principles of equity
The court will determine whether spousal support is appropriate based on the above factors, including how much should be paid per month and how long it may continue. Parties have the ability to agree to the amount and length of the obligation; however, support may be modifiable if ordered by the court and not the result of a mutual agreement.
Spousal support can be a sensitive topic and parties may strongly disagree on if spousal support is appropriate. Our experienced attorneys will help you understand the various forms of spousal support, whether it be interim, rehabilitative, permanent or alimony in gross and helping you analyze the likelihood of spousal support being ordered in your case.