How To Include Every Possible Scenario In Your Divorce Papers
There are so many divorcing couples every year. Sadly, many of them make repeat appearances in court because they did not take into account every scenario that might cause issues after the divorce. If you want to avoid reappearing in court, then be sure to include all of the following in your divorce papers. Also, ask your divorce attorney to use very specific language that is legally binding and free from multiple interpretations.
No If/Then or Other Conditional Language
Avoid making conditional language part of your divorce. If one spouse is giving the house to the other spouse, but both of you are stuck on the mortgage, avoid phrases like, "the respondent can have the house IF he/she removes the other person's name from the mortgage." A lot of times this tends to leave the door open for your ex to keep coming back and harassing you because you have not taken their name off of the mortgage. Ask your lawyer to refrain from nearly all if/then phrases in the divorce paperwork.
If You Are Entitled to Alimony, Take It
If your spouse cheated or if the two of you were married for at least ten years, you are entitled to alimony. If you will need help making ends meet after your divorce, you should take the alimony. This is not the time to take the high road and refuse alimony, or you may not be able to keep the house (if you are the one that got it in the divorce). It might take you a few years (possibly more!) to get back on your feet and get a full-time job after the divorce, and you are going to need every penny, especially if you are the primary caregiver for your children.
Word Child Support Requests Well
Most states already have very specific laws about how much child support one spouse has to pay another. For example, the state of Wisconsin requires 17% of the non-custodial's income for just one child. It increases between three and eight percent for each additional child, up to 34%. The courts do not allow more, as it would impoverish the non-custodial parent and make it impossible for him/her to live on a day-to-day basis.
So, the money is not the issue. What typically causes ex-spouses to drag each other back into court is the other child-related costs. Do you know how to request support for medical, dental, emergency, school/education, and other kid-related costs? If not, ask your lawyer to put these requests in very clear-cut language. This will ensure that the non-custodial parent does his/her part to pay for these extra costs. Also, if the non-custodial parent has the kids on his/her medical and dental insurance, make sure that if he/she loses that insurance, your ex is still required to pay half of those bills.
Request That Future Issues Be Limited to One Court Appearance Annually
There are some spouses that drag their exes into court every couple of months for everything they can. It wears on the body and causes additional stress on the kids. If at all possible, ask your lawyer to include a clause in the divorce that limits your ex's requests to be heard in court to once a year. If granted, you only have to worry about one court visit annually, instead of however many your ex thinks is necessary. This should also include an examination of increased income and increases in alimony and child support.
Wills, Deaths, and Inheritances
There should also be very careful wording in regards to your death and the children's inheritance. Do not name your ex as their financial guardian if the children are still minors when you pass. Protect their future by making someone more trustworthy the children's financial guardian.