Whether to end your marriage is one of the most important and difficult decisions you will ever encounter. While this is an emotional matter, it is important to approach certain aspects of it with an analytical perspective. This is a decision that should take into account numerous issues. Once you review the following list of questions, you may reconsider your goals — or you may be better prepared to move forward while working with an attorney. Contact an experienced family law attorney to help you along the journey.
- Will your children live with you or your former spouse?
- If the children live with your former spouse, how often do you hope to see them?
- How will you and your ex-spouse make decisions concerning the children’s health care and education?
- Who will pay for the children’s living expenses, education and travel?
- What if your ex-spouse remarries and the stepparent wants to adopt the children?
- What about spousal support and child support? Will you receive it or need to pay it? How much and for how long?
- Will the spousal support or child support increase or decrease in the future du to changing financial circumstances, economic conditions or other factors?
- Who will be entitled to claim the children as exemptions for income tax purposes?
- Who will live in the marital home during the divorce process?
- Will one of the spouses keep the marital home after the divorce, or will it be sold? How will the proceeds be divided?
- If one party keeps the home, will the other party deed its interest to the first party?
- If the parties decide to sell the home, will both spouses be involved in the sale and closing? Who will decide the listing price and whether a real estate broker will sell the home?
- Who will be responsible for major repairs and the costs of preparing the home for sale?
- Who will be entitled to deduct the mortgage interest charges and property taxes for income tax purposes?
- Who will be responsible for any income (capital gains) taxes that are imposed as a result of the sale of the home?
- Will you keep life insurance for the benefit of your children?
- Will either party be obligated to provide medical or other insurance for the other? For the children? For how long?
- Who will be responsible for any medical, dental, prescription or hospital expenses of the children that are not reimbursed by insurance?
- Who will be entitled to receive any refund from current and past joint income tax returns?
- If there is a deficiency on any current or past joint income tax returns, who will be responsible for the payment?