Disrupting a family with a divorce is difficult and the effects can be long lasting, there are visitation, support, and custody issues that arise that need to be resolved, the Court system is jammed with cases and litigants, and the reality is, that except in very rare cases, the assets are split 50/50 and the family suffers a financial hardship, not to mention tens of thousands of dollars in fees spent on lawyers, guardian ad litem, and perhaps a parent coordinator when the family can’t agree. This can lead to embedded hard feelings and future financial instability and perhaps bankruptcy for one or both spouses.
First rule of thumb, don’t bash each other over the head spending tens of thousands of dollars to prove what a bad person your spouse is; save your resources, to spend on a more worthwhile endeavor like attending school to get a better job, moving your family to a less expensive living arrangement or preserving your assets for future growth.
If your marriage has not completely failed, go to a marriage counselor who might help; if no success and a divorce is eminent, examine your financial condition, with and without your spouse and their income and assets, be honest with yourself, what can you do with the 50/50 split? How do you rebuild?
If you are in debt, can you manage your debt, or should you file a bankruptcy to preserve your assets and start fresh? If your soon to be ex-spouse is over his/her head, can you count on them paying their share of alimony or child support, remember, that property division and support disguised as property division, even in the context of a divorce may be dischargeable. There are a myriad of cases where divorced individuals have sought the discharge of debts which are primarily in the nature of property settlement. For example, in Smith v Pritchett (In re Smith) 398 B.R. LEXIS 3645, Bankr L. Rep (CCH) P81, later cited by the Quinn Court in Quinn v Quinn, 528 B.R. 203, the Bankruptcy Court set out the factors for determining whether a debt from one ex-spouse to the other, should be discharged under 11 USC §§523(a)(5) and 1328(a)(2).
Who you select as your attorney is critical to guide you through the process, one of careful planning and compromise, remember 50/50 is the norm in a divorce, knowing what will probably happen is a lot better than dreaming about possibilities that may never occur while spending a lot of money just to be disappointed in the end.