As a broad area of law, family law covers many complex topics. Among these are divorce, child custody, mediation, and prenuptial agreements, all of which can shape people’s lives. However, while dealing with many issues, it still has various aspects few people may be aware of when proceeding with a legal situation. If you will be involved in a family law case, here are five things you probably didn’t know pertained to this area of law.
Excessive Marital Spending
If you think it’s a good idea to plan a spending spree before a divorce is finalized, then you could get in a lot of trouble. If you do, you’ll not only look bad, but the court will likely count any expenses incurred during this time to your final settlement, which could lead to you getting far less money than you anticipated.
No-Fault Divorces Equal Less Control
While no-fault divorces are the popular way for most couples to part ways, many legal experts feel they take away too much control in certain instances. For example, 80 percent of no-fault divorces are unilateral, meaning one spouse objects to the marriage ending. But with no-fault laws, that person has little if any recourse to save their marriage.
Mediators Cannot Be Lawyers
When people enter mediation, they sometimes think the mediator can act as an attorney, which is not the case. Instead, a mediator can only provide information about the legal system, alternatives for solving various issues, and how lawyers and judges may view certain matters associated with a case.
Prenuptial Agreements Don’t Cover Everything
If a couple chooses to create a prenuptial agreement prior to marriage, it will not cover all issues. For example, while it will include the division of assets, if alimony will be an option upon a divorce, and how finances will be handled during the marriage, it will not deal with child custody and child support matters.
Courts Don’t Decide Most Child Custody Cases
When child custody is an issue, the courts do not decide most of these matters. According to statistics, 80 percent of custody cases are resolved without third-party involvement, and only four percent of these cases ever make it to trial.
In the event it does go to court, most courts prefer joint custody. Lawyers explain “Joint custody is the go-to for most courts. Indiana reasons that this makes things easier on the child—he or she will get significant time with both parents, and the parents will likely be more willing to work together to support the child, despite the divorce.
Since family law is so complex and often involves issues that can bring numerous emotions to the surface, it’s best to learn as much as possible about your specific situation before making any final decisions.
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