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Spousal Support / Asset Division
Legal Help for Spousal Support and Asset Division
If you are going through a divorce, spousal support and division of assets are necessary and must be discussed and agreed upon. Contact the Law Office of Cindy L. Thomas to schedule your no obligation consultation. Our empathetic and experienced attorney will offer sensitive legal guidance for your family law case.
Guidance for Your Spousal Support Case
The court may award just and reasonable spousal support if the division of assets is insufficient for the suitable support of either party including any children committed to his or her care. The court must consider the ability of either party to pay and the particular circumstances of the case. Factors to be considered include:
Past relations and conduct of the parties
Length of marriage
Ability of the parties to work
Source of and amount of property awarded to the parties
Ages of the parties
Ability of the parties to pay spousal support
Present situation of the parties
Needs of the parties
Health of the parties
Prior standard of living of the parties
Whether either party is responsible for the support of others
General principles of equity
Due to the extensive nature of spousal support disputes and the law involved, this subject is best left to an in-depth discussion with your attorney.
Division of Assets and Property Settlements
Step one in the division of assets is a determination as to whether a valid nuptial agreement exists. If not, and the parties are unable to agree on a division of assets, the court must identify marital and separate property.
Generally, property and debts accumulated through the direct or indirect efforts of the parties during the marriage are considered marital property and is subject to equitable distribution by the court.
Alternatively, separate property is not divisible in divorce absent special circumstances. Separate property may include premarital property, gifts, inheritances, appreciation or income on separate property, and pain and suffering awards.
Property settlements must allocate debts as well as assets. Regular household debts accrued during the marriage are assumed to be joint debts regardless of whose name the debt is in or who signed the credit card slip or loan agreement. Marital debts are treated as negative assets in allocating each spouse’s share of the marital estate.
Once marital property and debts are identified, the court will place value on the marital estate and determine an equitable distribution of assets based upon the specific circumstances of a particular case. The court may consider fault when determining property division and, if circumstances warrant, may invade separate property in the final distribution of assets.
Due to the extensive nature of property settlements and the law involved, this subject is best left to an in-depth discussion with your attorney.