Realities of Divorce

Divorces can be final in as few as 30 days, although very complex divorces and those that go to trial may not be final for months or even years. Once a divorce is filed and one party wants to go through with it, you can’t stop it from happening. Unless you and your spouse reconcile, your assets will be divided and you will be divorced. Contentious, litigated divorces are more financially devastating than agreed upon settlements. Your property may be divided in a way that is not equal. The judge or a jury may look at future earning capacity, fault for the divorce and other criteria when making a disproportionate division.
If one spouse proves that an asset is his or her separate property, the judge must award that asset to that person, although it might later be awarded to the other spouse as alimony.

Unless you have no significant assets or means to support yourself and you have been married for a significant time, or you and your spouse agree to it, in most cases there will be no alimony once the divorce is final. The spouse who does not have primary custody of the children will, in practically every case, pay child support. If the other side requests your financial information you have to comply unless you settle. Your spouse may file for bankruptcy after a divorce leaving you responsible for certain debts; however, bankruptcy cannot eliminate alimony or child support.

It is difficult to reopen a case or prevail on appeal so get everything you can the first time around.