Facing a divorce will be one of the most challenging things of your life. Each state has different laws, so it’s important that you hire a Mount Pleasant, SC divorce lawyer. Lauren Taylor Law is experienced in handling divorce cases and comes highly recommended.
When you’re going through your divorce, your main interest is the wellbeing of your children and your future. You never expected to get divorced on your wedding day, but here you are picking up the pieces. You need an attorney that can get you what you want in your divorce settlement.
You need a Mount Pleasent, SC Divorce lawyer that can support and guide you throughout the entire process. Contact us today to set up an appointment to discuss the details of your case.
The first step in your divorce is hiring an experienced lawyer.
You probably have a million questions, which is completely normal. Divorce isn’t a natural process, so you don’t know what to do without some guidance. We recommend hiring a Mount Pleasent, SC Divorce lawyer as soon as you know you are getting divorced.
You will need to agree on a divorce settlement with your spouse, or you’ll find yourself in court at the hands of a judge. Mediation is always the first choice because the process isn’t as lengthy or costly. An experienced divorce attorney can help you with the mediation, to ensure that you get a fair divorce settlement.
How do I begin my divorce?
The entire process starts when you or your spouse files for divorce. You need to file your complaint in the county where you reside. There are many reasons that you can file for a divorce where you or your spouse is at fault. These are the 4 reasons that the dissolution of a marriage can be at-fault:
- Domestic violence
- Abuse of alcohol or drugs
If you have suffered through any of these issues in your marriage, you can file for divorce immediately. However, if you haven’t had any of these problems you will have to file for a no-fault divorce. With no-fault divorce, you’re stating that the divorce isn’t a fault of either spouse.
To be eligible to file for a no-fault divorce, you must live separately from your spouse for at least a year. Many people wait to hire legal representation until they have already begun the divorce process. However, we recommend retaining a Mount Pleasent, SC Divorce lawyer through the separation. It is never too early to hire someone to protect your interests.
How can I successfully negotiate my divorce settlement?
There are many things you will have to discuss during your divorce, and these are some of the biggest decisions of your life. Who will have custody of the children? How often will there be visitation? What about child support or alimony?
Then, you have to determine how to divide your assets and debts. There is a lot to be decided and it will forever shape your future. You can’t afford to make any mistakes. Your first step in your divorce settlement is hiring an experienced attorney and custody lawyer. It is unlikely that you will be able to agree on the terms of your divorce without a professional.
Next, you should always be open to negotiations. A lot of people enter into a divorce thinking that they will never be able to negotiate with their spouse. This is one of the worst things that you can do. We always recommend going to mediation first and using the court as a last result.
When you go to court you will inevitably spend more money, and you don’t know what the judge is going to do. At least with mediation, you have some control over the conditions of your divorce settlement.
Finally, you should enter into a divorce settlement asking for your best offer. A lot of people will enter negotiations with their minimum needs. However, there is nowhere to go in the negotiations if you’re not willing to give up anything.
By starting with a “best case” scenario, you have things to give up when you’re compromising. You should never accept the first offer you receive. Rely on the experience and knowledge of your legal representation to give you guidance on what you should expect in a fair divorce settlement.
Never use your emotions while negotiating your divorce settlement.
Since most divorces are settled out of court, you will find yourself at mediation soon enough. Once you decide on what you’d like in your divorce settlement, rely on facts instead of your emotions.
Look at how you built your life together, versus focusing on memories or negative feelings. If you look at the facts, you will be able to keep a level head. We want you to get the best terms in your settlement, which can only be attained with a plan of action. Contact us today, so that we can begin negotiating on your behalf.
Make sure to stay single until your divorce is finalized.
Since you never expected to divorce, you might be unaware of the consequences of your daily actions. You have to be separated a year before you can file for a no-fault divorce. So, it is common that you might try to date someone during this period of separation. However, dating someone can have serious repercussions with your divorce settlement.
Dating someone during your divorce can be seen as adultery. If you’re accused of committing adultery, you will not be eligible for alimony.
Once you’re found guilty of adultery, you could be required to pay alimony because of your marital misconduct.
You could also see a smaller settlement amount because of your affair.
Your legal fees could be higher because your case has become more complicated.
Adultery can cause you to lose custody of your children or could reduce your visitation. It just isn’t worth the risk.
How does a judge decide child custody?
Now that you have entered your divorce negotiations, you want to know where your children will reside. The fate of your children is one of the most important decisions from your divorce settlement.
If you and your spouse can’t determine custody on your own, you will leave the fate of your children to a judge. It is the court’s responsibility to act in the best interest of the child, even if it is a judgment that you don’t agree with. Before deciding on child custody, a judge will assess:
- The needs of the children.
- Where the children want to live.
- How able each parent is to fit the needs of the children.
- The preference of each parent in terms of child custody.
- The relationships that the children have with the parents, as well as other members of the family.
- If there is any evidence of domestic or child abuse.
- The residences of both of the parents.
- The physical and mental health of each of the parents.
- How involved each parent was in the children’s lives, including who acted as primary caregiver.
The judge will want to know whether you can put the needs of your children above your own. It’s easy to say that your child will be a priority, but will they be a priority above your wants? You will need to show that you have a bond with your child and that you have acted in your child’s best interests.
Child custody cases are complex, and they can often become exhaustive. Neither parent wants to give up custody of their children, so this becomes one of the most crucial parts of the divorce case. An experienced Mount Pleasent, SC child custody lawyer can help you protect your parental rights.
How is child support determined?
Child support is another highly contested area of a divorce settlement. Once you decide where your children will live, the non-custodial parent is required to pay child support.
This monthly payment is meant to help you financially take care of your children. If you cannot agree on a child support agreement, the courts will help you decide. There are tables and formulas that the court will use to decide what percentage of your income should be used for child support. Once the court determines the amount of child support you should pay, you must honor this order.
If you choose to not pay your child support your wages could be garnished, or you could find yourself in jail. Even if your spouse does not allow you to see your child, this is not grounds to quit paying your child support. If you are having child support issues give us a call, we can have any questions that you may have.
A divorce is a complicated process that is made up of many different issues. There are many lives involved, and your divorce settlement will affect all of you.
If you find yourself facing a separation, we recommend that you contact us as soon as possible. It is better to find out your options before you are served with divorce papers. Contact Lauren Taylor Law today, so we can begin to create a better future for you and your children.