What to Do Next? Timely Tips from Melvin L. Hill Attorney at Law
If your spouse asked for a divorce, you may be wondering what to do next. Divorce can be a turbulent time of change, full of emotion and uncertainty. Amid the many issues that may be involved in your separation lies the very real concern about your legal rights.
Separation and divorce carry significant concerns that affect you and other members of your family financially. Some spouses may feel a prenuptial agreement will cover matters when a marriage dissolves. A few timely tips from Melvin L. Hill Attorney at Law in Roanoke, VA, may help. Keep the following in mind for what to do after a spouse asks for a divorce.
Understanding Marital Rights in Virginia
According to the Virginia State Bar, there are several important financial issues to consider. These can include:
- Equitable Division of Marital Property and Debts,
- Spousal Support, Child Support, and
- Attorney Fees.
Virginia is one of more than 40 states that adopted an equitable distribution law for dividing marital property and debts in divorce. The law considers marriage an economic partnership. In determining fair division of marital property and debts, Virginia law requires:
- spouses classify property and debts as marital, separate, or part marital and part separate;
- the valuation of marital property and debts; and
- equitable division of marital property or debts based on the statutory factors in Virginia Code Section 20-107.3.
Prenuptial Agreements Are Not Always Solid Remedies
Couples with the forethought to draft a prenuptial agreement may think that it will save time in a divorce. A prenup can offer a sense of security as one enters into marriage. However, spouses can still encounter challenges to both debts and assets they share.
Some very real concerns about marital property involve the family home. For many, this is a couple’s largest asset. If you are both on the title or lease, both spouses may continue to live there. Yet, this ability may not be practical or ideal. It may take a court order to get the other spouse to leave.
Consider some of the higher-profile celebrity splits you may see in the news. Your estate may not value in the millions, but you do have to be careful with any contentious negotiations. Your divorcing spouse may not want to accept accumulated debt and may attempt to take shared assets as their own.
Spousal Support, Child Support, and More
Be honest when reviewing support matters for yourself and any children in common. Most parents will try to negotiate a fair settlement. Few want to see children or their spouse suffering without adequate funds or assets.
In difficult divorce matters, spouses face many what-if scenarios. This is an area where consulting an attorney can be beneficial. Some divorcing spouses feel they might be better off “just agreeing” to an amount. This may appear to make the process move faster, but we recommend negotiating for support that you or your children need.
Think of the many daily challenges and changes you face. You may need to return to the workforce and place children into childcare. Do you or your children have tuition, any type of disability, or health challenges that require therapy or insurance? Tally the costs of transportation, moving, and more over the foreseeable future. Allow for a rise in those costs over time.
Distribution of Assets—Including Joint Businesses
Today’s couples can face various complications when trying to distribute marital assets. In many instances, both spouses may work outside of the home. They may operate one or more businesses together. These interests compete for attention with other financial matters when it comes to equitable distribution.
According to Salesforce.com, the Census Bureau reports more than 4.4 million new businesses created during the pandemic. Becoming entrepreneurs was a fine solution to a difficult time. However, divorcing couples with business interests may not factor in these added responsibilities and liabilities. Consulting an attorney may be key to keeping the doors open on your small business.
Remember when we said the law looks at marriage as an economic partnership? In this way, it can be much like a business when it comes to divorce. When business partners part ways, there can be many aspects to address.
Changes After a Divorce: Custody and Support Modifications
Once spouses have their decree, they can also count on changes to occur afterward. People do move on to other things, children mature, and some partners may remarry. These types of changes after a divorce have a role in modifying both custody and support agreements.
For some divorcing couples, it is easy to both establish and modify agreements. Others find it difficult to come to an agreement or make changes. As mentioned earlier, it is wise to ensure the agreement reflects the current situation. For example:
- If one or both parents move away to another state
- Children change schools or graduate
- A spouse receiving support remarries
Consider the many economic changes your family encounters in a year. Some of these may not require a custody or support modification agreement. If it has been awhile since your divorce, you may want to check the accuracy of these agreements.
Has Your Spouse Asked for a Divorce? Call Melvin L. Hill in Roanoke, VA
This is just a look at what can happen after your spouse asked for a divorce. Divorces can be amicable or contentious. Either way, it can give you pause if you have never considered the many decisions that arise. While couples enter into marriage with positivity, life experiences and changes, like divorce, do occur.
If you are ever in this situation, seek out a strong attorney to help protect your rights throughout the proceedings. Melvin L. Hill Attorney at Law in Roanoke, VA, has valuable experience in divorce matters. Call today to consult with him on how to best respond after your spouse asked for a divorce.
Contact Melvin L. Hill Attorney at Law in Roanoke, VA, today at (540) 342-1851 for consultation. Return to our blog to read more on legal issues affecting your rights and freedom. Get sound advice on where you stand if your spouse just asked for a divorce.