Women asking for divorce should consider asking for factors like a share in the marital home and alimony in the divorce settlement. A divorce settlement agreement is a legally binding contract used in both contested and uncontested divorces that outlines the terms of property and debt division, child support, alimony, child custody, visitation rights, and more.
Only 3 percent of around 400,000 alimony recipients were male according to a 2010 study. Although the number has likely increased since then, alimony is something many women ask for after a divorce. For women going through a divorce, it remains one of the key things they ask for. This article explains some other things wives should consider asking for during a divorce.
Share in the Marital Home
The marital home, purchased during the marriage, is typically considered marital property. No matter the type of divorce, unless a prenuptial agreement states otherwise, each spouse usually has a 50% share in the marital home.
To ensure fairness, you and your spouse may get the home appraised to establish its current value. If one spouse retains the home, they should compensate the other spouse for their share. This compensation can be in the form of cash or other assets, including marital or separate property.
In the event of a disagreement, the home can be sold, and the proceeds, after settling any outstanding mortgage, can be divided. The agreement should also address issues such as exclusive possession, responsibility for maintenance, repairs, taxes, and insurance.
Distribution of Other Marital Property
Marital property, including furniture, vehicles, stocks, bonds, and financial assets, must be itemized, and the agreement should specify how these assets will be divided. Both spouses should create an itemized list of their separate properties, which should be preserved individually.
The treatment of retirement accounts as marital property should also be considered, with the specifics of distribution clearly defined. An attorney can help with this process, as it may be confusing, difficult, or emotionally challenging.
Debts and Liabilities
Clearly define which spouse is responsible for paying off common debts and liabilities. You can itemise both separate and joint debts, such as student loans, mortgages, credit card debts, income tax obligations, personal loans, lawsuits by creditors, and bankruptcies.
Collaborate with a family law attorney to create custody and co-parenting terms that prioritize the child’s well-being. Include details about legal and physical custody, extracurricular responsibilities, visitation schedules, and child safety measures.
Ensure that a child’s living situation at each parent’s home is addressed. You may need to consider factors like firearm safety and exposure to new romantic partners. You should also consider limits or regulations around relocating with your children.
Establish the terms for child support, including the paying parent, monthly amount, and the commencement date for payments. Decide on how child support will be allocated if there are multiple children, ensuring that each child’s financial needs are addressed.
Your attorney can help you to figure out the calculation method for child support, considering factors such as parental incomes, parenting time, and other relevant circumstances. You may also determine the circumstances under which child support may extend beyond the age of 18, particularly if the child has special needs.
Specify which parent is responsible for providing medical and dental health insurance for each minor child. You might need to discuss sharing insurance premium costs.
You and your spouse should establish conditions under which a parent may stop making insurance payments. Determine the process for covering uncovered or uninsured healthcare expenses for the child, ensuring that necessary medical care is always accessible.
Typically, alimony continues until specific conditions are met, such as the death of either spouse, remarriage of the spouse receiving alimony, cohabitation, a court order, or any modifications outlined in the agreement. Establish the terms for alimony, including the paying spouse, monthly payments, and the duration of alimony support.
Custody of Documents
In cases of joint custody, determine which parent will retain essential documents like passports, social security cards, birth certificates, and other identification papers for the child. You may also make copies so that both parents have access to important records.
Agree not to take on post-divorce liabilities that can affect the other spouse’s assets, providing a level of financial security post-divorce. Both spouses should openly declare that they never engaged in undisclosed transfers of assets or gifts at less than their market value without informing the other spouse.
You and your spouse could decide the consequences of undisclosed transfers and establish fair terms for compensation. An attorney can help patch any disagreements around this issue.
In cases where there is a large income disparity between spouses, you may be able to ask for or offer spousal support. This may be necessary to maintain the financial stability of the lower-earning spouse.
In situations where immediate financial support is required, a woman can file for pendente lite support to ensure timely support payments even as the divorce proceedings are ongoing. Check with your attorney how this works in your state.