Every time you look at the summer calendar on your fridge, you’re reminded about your upcoming divorce. Your daughter can’t stop talking about the new slides at Dune Peninsula park while your son is excited about his camping trip with friends. There’s also the new exhibit at the Tacoma Art Museum “Bart at TAM: Animating America’s Favorite Family”, that has the town talking.
You begin to wonder, “will I ever enjoy these events with the kids again? Will the parenting plan allow us to keep these traditions alive after the divorce?”. The answer is yes, but it’s hard to see that when you’re so worried about the future. In this blog, we’ll go over 4 common worries that people have about divorce and what the likely truth is behind each one.
How Often Will You See Your Kids?
There may be reasons why you can’t be the primary residential parent. Maybe you have to travel a lot for work, or you’re required to put in long hours that make it hard to be home when you’re needed. Does this mean that you won’t see the kids for more than a few hours a week?
Not at all! Nonprimary residential parents can enjoy a generous visitation schedule when parties can agree on what’s best for the children. Depending on the terms of the parenting plan, the kids may spend weekends, some major holidays, and much of the summer vacation with you. Courts recognize how important it is for them to have both parents in their lives, so you can count on a fair and balanced parenting plan. Prepare to enjoy many more fun outings with your kids!
How Much Spousal Support Will You Pay / Receive?
Are you worried about money because you’ve been a stay-at-home parent until now? Or did your spouse leave the workforce early to take care of the home and you’re wondering how much support they will need?
Spousal maintenance is different from child support in that there is no formula for calculating how much money you pay or receive. If your economic positions are similar, maintenance probably won’t be granted because the relative need and ability to pay are essentially the same.
If you request maintenance and the court agrees that it’s appropriate under the circumstances, how much can you expect and for how long? Although every case is treated differently, below are some general guidelines that may dictate your outcome:
- Your financial resources;
- The amount of time it will reasonably take for you to get the education or training to find gainful employment;
- The duration of the marriage and the standard of living you enjoyed;
- Your age, health, and financial obligations.
The goal of spousal maintenance is to give you financial cushion you need to prepare for the exciting opportunities that lie ahead.
3. How Will You Afford the Divorce?
Nearly everyone who is preparing for divorce worries about costs. If you and your spouse agree on important matters like child support, property division, and spousal maintenance, your divorce doesn’t have to be expensive at all. Even if you do disagree in any of these areas, they can be resolved in an amicable and affordable manner via collaborative law or mediation with your attorney.
If you earn less than your spouse, the court may order he or she to pay some of your reasonable attorney fees as part of the divorce settlement. While this is not a general rule, Washington courts strive for settlements that won’t leave either spouse at a serious economic disadvantage.
4. How Will You Adjust to Your New Life?
Divorce is a big change in your life, but it also frees you to try new experiences and explore more possibilities than you could while married. If you embrace the opportunity, it can be exciting and invigorating. You and your former spouse can be better friends as co-parents than you were as a couple, which is wonderful for the kids. When you look back later, you may recall your divorce as one of the best things that ever happened to you.
When you’re worried about divorce, a good Washington family law attorney will answer your questions and help you appreciate that this transition is opening a whole new world to you. At Bliss Law Group, we care about our clients and strive for an outcome that protects you financially and preserves your relationship with your children. For more information, reach out to us today at 253-844-4412.