Divorce Q&A, Part II with Jill Bicks
Most lawyers will give you an initial hour to make sure you have chemistry and can work well together. If you want a fight, hire a litigator, but be prepared to spend a lot of money. The litigation process is designed to be combative and it will inherently rack up. No one really wins when you litigate.
Also, work with you attorney to strategize on how to get the right lawyer on the other side. How the attorneys work together can have a huge impact on the outcome.
When it comes to credit cards, MasterCard doesn’t care that you’re getting divorced. If you can get your debts resolved pre-divorce, great. Next best thing is to identify in your settlement what happens when one party doesn’t pay. The agreement is only as good as the paper it’s written on and if one party doesn’t follow it, you’re back in court. It’s worth finding the right process and avoiding court.
If things are really tense and you just can’t make progress, there are co-parent counselors that can help you and your spouse or ex manage family issues. It’s more economical and makes more sense than doing this through your lawyer. Attorneys should write that in to your agreement as a backstop if communication breaks down.
If you are getting alimony and you want to get remarried, what happens? It ends. Even co-habitation can affect your payout.
Lump Sum alimony is one and done. It can’t be changed or modified, so that may be a better option. It’s cash up front, typically at a discount.
Unallocated alimony is a combo of child support and alimony in one payment. So, if you remarry, you lose the alimony, but you can still get child support. Child support goes with the child when the child lives with you.
Alimony can be modified UNLESS you said in your agreement that it can’t be. You need to ask the right questions, because there are tax and timing implications. It can be taxed or not taxed, periodic or lump sum….
Divorce beats you up, so hire the right lawyer.