If the end of your marriage seems near, your future may seem full of uncertainty. You probably have numerous questions about what your home, finances and family life will look like in the coming years.
You do not need to feel helpless as your divorce looms. A little pre-divorce planning can go a long way in helping you feel empowered. Take control of your future as you make the important decisions ahead.
Divorce is never easy, but you may be able to avoid a messy public court battle. An amicable split can save you and your spouse a great deal of time, money and heartache. You may be able to resolve areas of dispute with mediation. Mediators provide guidance, promote mutual respect and preserve your privacy. Formal litigation is an option, but it will take more time and put the final outcome in the hands of a judge.
The most important and emotional choices you must make center around your children. You and your spouse will have to determine a variety of custody matters, including holiday schedules and parenting time. Parenting plans also include provisions for medical care, education and custody exchanges. If your children are old enough, their “informed preferences” may influence custody decisions.
Splitting your possessions can be one of the most complex aspects of divorce. The choices you make now can have a dramatic effect on your life for years to come. You will determine what is marital property and what is personal property, then decide on how to divide mutual possessions. Connecticut law contains provisions regarding real estate, retirement funds, shared businesses and more.
If you have children, your divorce agreement should include child support. Child support begins with a calculation that incorporates both parents’ incomes, financial situations and parenting time. Support may cover educational expenses, extra-curricular activities and driving costs. Payments may continue while children are in college.
Whether or not you have mutual children, the courts may also order spousal support. Alimony decisions depend on many factors, such as your ages, the length of your marriage and the employability of the lower-income partner.