If you are in the process of getting a divorce, whether you are the petitioner, the recipient, or filing jointly, you are probably wondering what are my rights before a divorce?
Support During the Divorce Process
You have a right to pursue support during the legal divorce or separation proceedings if the other party was the primary breadwinner and you do not have enough to support yourself without some continued access to that income. The purpose of this type of support is to keep everyone on their feet similar to during the marriage while proceedings are ongoing. Be wary of traditional assumptions about alimony and gender-based assumptions about who can and cannot be self-supporting.
Right to Contest the Divorce
If you cannot reach an agreement and are contesting the divorce or separation, it will then go to trial with the final details determined by the court after arguments are presented. It is your right to see this legal process through, though it can be lengthy and expensive. When one party has very unrealistic expectations about what they are entitled to or are driven by purely non-rational considerations, this may be the only path. You do not have to give in to unrealistic expectations, and should not do so when you are highly likely to prevail at trial.
Right to Your Share of Joint Property
If you are the non-earning or lower-earning spouse in the marriage, you may find that your higher-earning spouse thinks they own everything and you should count yourself lucky for anything you get. It’s critical to realize that from a legal perspective this is definitely not the case, and such a viewpoint displays a profound ignorance of the legal consequences of entering into marriage. Property and other assets acquired during the marriage are generally jointly owned, though there are exceptions.
Right to See Your Children Regardless of Whose Fault It Is
Even if you have engaged in something that was hurtful to your spouse and which may have even led to the breakdown of the marriage, such as infidelity, you have a right to see your children and seek custody. Only if you are violent or otherwise exhibit behavior that is directly damaging to the children can or should this be called into question. As with the support issue, you should not rely on common and outdated assumptions about your divorce rights, but instead seek legal advice from a divorce attorney to maximize your chances of a good outcome, especially if you find yourself in a contested and bitter process.
To learn more about your rights, contact the Law Offices of Leigh Frost today.
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