Divorce can be risky business. The emotional toll affects your ability to make clear decisions about the future.
Uncontested VS Contested Divorce
Uncontested divorces are settlements. You and your spouse negotiate and agree on the terms of marital dissolution. This is by far the quickest and most cost-effective method. A skillful attorney can guide you on maximizing benefits, and getting the other side to agree.
Contested divorces happen when you cannot come to an agreement with your spouse. The process can be expensive, time consuming and downright ugly. Sometimes, one of you may be too focused on using divorce as a tool for retribution. Other times, one side is so inflexible that it is the only option.
It's Mine, Not Yours: Smart Asset Settlements
When most people think of asset distribution, retirement funds, homes and bank accounts immediately come to mind. However, there are less obvious things which could also be considered assets. When you negotiate your case, these can be bartered in return for something of equal value.
Income tax deductions and credits are one example. The Child Tax credit, Earned Income credit and exemption add up to a good chunk of change each year. Properly negotiated, your attorney may be able to exchange these for less alimony, a higher percentage of tangible assets or other long-term gain.
Spousal payments can also be structured so that it meets Internal Revenue Service guidelines for annual deduction. However, the payments must come under the definition of alimony and be monetary. Property in lieu of cash is generally not tax deductible, so weigh your options carefully.
What About the Kids
Divorce takes the biggest toll on children, and contested cases involving child custody can be torturous. In most places, custody is decided using a list of factors called the "best interest standards." However, these factors are open to the court's interpretation. Parents compete on equal footing, and most courts look to foster good relationships between children and parents.
Setting aside emotions and focusing on your future can help differentiate divorce issues. Do not just decide on what you need in the heat of the moment. What is relevant now may not matter in five years. Together, you and the attorneys at Hall, Ricketts, Schuller, & Gurbacki, P.C. can sort through the issues that will help you come out a winner. Contact us today to get started on your case.