Important elements of a divorce case

Divorce cases may vary based on the couple’s situation, but often child custody, alimony and property division are topics that get a lot of discussion.

Every divorce case in the Memphis area is different, but there are certain elements that may be important to many different couples. Before couples choose to proceed with a divorce, they may want to consider said elements in order to gain a better understanding of what these proceedings may include.

Child custody

The question of who gets custody of a child is often hotly debated during divorce proceedings. According to Fox Business, even parents who were not that active in their child's life during the marriage may want to take a bigger role after a divorce. This shift often takes place because divorce changes a person's perspective, and the parent realizes how important his or her role could be in the child's life.

This shift may be hard on the parent who had done all of the work during the marriage, but it is important for both parties to focus on what is best for the child while deciding how to split up custody. Once the custody agreement has been made, the court may also decide whether either party will have to make child support payments.

Alimony

Alimony is defined as a payment made to a former spouse based on the divorce rulings. Alimony does not include every bit of payment made to the spouse. For example, child support, voluntary payments, noncash property settlements and payments of community income typically do not fall into this category of alimony.

Usually, this type of money is awarded to a spouse who put his or her job on hold in order to raise children during the marriage. For example, a judge could tell a bread-winning wife to pay her stay-at-home ex-husband a certain amount of her salary per year for a set number of years to ensure he is able to keep his standard of living. Not all divorce cases will have alimony awarded to a spouse.

Property division

The division of property may vary based on state because each state has its own rules that have to be followed during a divorce. The state of Tennessee, for example, is an equitable distribution state. This means that the property of a couple is divided fairly between the two. It is important to note that a fair division could mean each spouse gets 50 percent of the assets, or it could favor one spouse over another based on his or her financial circumstances. The court, according to Forbes, is able to consider any factors it deems necessary. Property may be divided based on the following:

  • Duration of marriage
  • Each spouse's earning potential
  • Alimony or child support
  • General health and age of each spouse
  • Standard of living during marriage

Because so many considerations could be made, about 95 percent of couples settle their divorces outside of a courtroom to help increase the predictability of the outcome.

When Tennessee couples choose to end a marriage, there are certain big topics that may come up during the proceedings based on each unique situation. A knowledgeable attorney may be able to provide guidance through these hot topics.