Law

Top Complications That Can Arise During a Divorce

Life is full of surprises, and marriages take unexpected turns that can lead to a divorce. Even when you and your partner agree that going your separate ways is the best thing to do, obstacles to a smooth separation can occur. Here are some of the top complications that can arise during a divorce.

Debt

Joint credit card accounts can complicate post-marriage finances if one partner is frugal and the other is spendy. Dividing responsibility for the debts the big spender ran up can create conflict and complications in a divorce. Other types of debt are more easily separable, like student loans or obligations one spouse took on by themselves. 

Nevertheless, specifying who is responsible for making payments on debts can be an issue that delays or causes problems during divorce negotiations.

Custody

Emotions run high where child custody is concerned. Each parent may believe they offer the best living situation for their child or children. They may argue about how they’ll contribute to supporting the children financially or otherwise. Because of its practical and emotional complexity, child custody is one of the top complications that can arise during a divorce.

Property

Deciding who gets to keep the house, the car, or the family pets can lead to impasses in divorce negotiations. Unique or collectible property items, such as high-quality antiques, artworks, furniture, and rugs require professional appraisal. 

When partners discover that the grandmother’s table or Uncle Carl’s rug is far more valuable than they knew, arguments can ensue about whether to sell the items and split the proceeds, or one person take the pieces for themselves.

In community property states, everything the couple acquires during the marriage is generally regarded as belonging to both of them equally. Exclusions, however, are inheritances and property one of the spouses deliberately kept separate from joint property, blurring the lines. 

For example, what happens if one spouse used an inheritance as the down payment on the marital home? If one spouse operates a home-based business in the house where the couple lives but keeps all the business assets separate, how does a court decide how much of the business’s value might belong to their partner? 

If there is any possibility of disagreement about assets or heirlooms, each partner should consult with their lawyer about property division. This is especially true if one spouse suspects the other is hiding their assets.

Pregnancy

When the couple discovers they’re expecting a child, the pregnancy can complicate divorce proceedings. Some states won’t allow a couple to divorce until nearly a year after the child is born. Most states will assume the child is the biological offspring of both partners, but where paternity is in question, tests to determine fatherhood may be necessary. 

Divorce is an emotional, complicated process. If your marriage is ending, it’s wise to consult an experienced attorney who can anticipate and help you sort through potential obstacles and delays. 

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