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Knowing The Basics of Divorce. Family law Family law is a complex practice area, regulated by rules that vary slightly from state to state. Family law.

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Presentation on theme: "Knowing The Basics of Divorce. Family law Family law is a complex practice area, regulated by rules that vary slightly from state to state. Family law."— Presentation transcript:

1 Knowing The Basics of Divorce

2 Family law Family law is a complex practice area, regulated by rules that vary slightly from state to state. Family law is a complex practice area, regulated by rules that vary slightly from state to state. Family law cases can be highly complex and involved. Family law cases can be highly complex and involved. Family law, unlike many types of litigation, goes directly to the issues that affect people the most: money and children. Family law, unlike many types of litigation, goes directly to the issues that affect people the most: money and children.

3 What is a divorce? A divorce is a lawsuit to dissolve the marriage relationship. A divorce encompasses many different issues including the division of property and debts, and rights each parent will have to the children. Basic parts to the dissolution of marriage 1) Divorce Itself 2) The Division of Property 3) Issues Related to Children

4 THE DIVORCE ITSELF Whether or not the couple has children, the legal procedure for a divorce is similar to the procedure for other lawsuits. Two divorce systems 1) A “no-fault” system – a divorce can be granted without either spouse being forced to prove the other was at fault in breaking up the marriage. 2) A “fault” – a spouse may still note in the petition for divorce that the other person was at fault in breaking up the marriage.

5 THE DIVORCE PROCEEDING There are four basic steps to a divorce proceeding: 1) Filing a Divorce Petition 2) Discovery 3) Trial or Settlement 4) Divorce Decree

6 FILING A DIVORCE PETITION Any divorce, even one on friendly terms, must begin with the filing of an "original petition for divorce" in a state district court. Most petitions include a request for a two-week temporary restraining order (TRO), This freezes things as they are and prevents one spouse from taking any action that harms the other.

7 DISCOVERY This procedure allows both sides to determine the size of the community estate and to learn the position the other party will take on certain issues. Discovery can be written or oral.

8 DISCOVERY Written Discovery: Written Discovery: 1) Request for Disclosure 2) Interrogatories 3) Request for Production of Documents 4) Request for Admission 5) Sworn Inventory and Appraisement Oral Discovery Oral Discovery

9 TRIAL OR SETTLEMENT Not all divorce cases go to trial Not all divorce cases go to trial First, after pretrial discovery is over, the spouses will probably be ordered to go into mediation First, after pretrial discovery is over, the spouses will probably be ordered to go into mediation The vast majority of all family law cases are settled prior to trial. The vast majority of all family law cases are settled prior to trial. If settlement is not possible, the case will go to a judge or jury. If settlement is not possible, the case will go to a judge or jury. Either party has the right to request a jury trial. Either party has the right to request a jury trial.

10 DIVORCE DECREE This is usually a lengthy document that formalizes and finalizes all of the provisions of the divorce - including issues of property division and child custody. This is usually a lengthy document that formalizes and finalizes all of the provisions of the divorce - including issues of property division and child custody. The decree must be drafted very carefully, because, once entered, this agreement will become the rules by which you must live. The decree must be drafted very carefully, because, once entered, this agreement will become the rules by which you must live.

11 THE DIVISION OF PROPERTY 1. Proving Separate Property 2. Agreeing Ahead of Time on What Property is Separate 3. Dividing the Property 4. Alimony

12 PROVING SEPARATE PROPERTY If a spouse wants to keep certain property after the divorce, it must be proven in court that it should be considered separate property. AGREEING IN ADVANCE: WHAT PROPERTY IS SEPARATE  The couple may make a pre-marital agreement or post-marital agreement  Both pre- and post-marital agreements must be in writing and signed willingly by both spouses.

13 DIVIDING THE PROPERTY There is no set formula for who gets how much and there is no guarantee that assets will be split evenly. Dividing property a judge may also consider: Age and physical condition of each spouse; Age and physical condition of each spouse; Relative ability and earning power; Relative ability and earning power; Relative need for future support; Relative need for future support; Size of the estate; Size of the estate; Benefits a spouse would have received if the marriage had continued; and Benefits a spouse would have received if the marriage had continued; and Fault in the break-up of the marriage. Fault in the break-up of the marriage.

14 ALIMONY/MAINTENANCE The payment of alimony is different from state to state. In some states the payment of alimony is not allowed or is available in extremely limited circumstances and only for a limited period of time.

15 ISSUES RELATED TO CHILDREN There are four areas that must be addressed when divorcing spouses have minor children. Conservatorship Conservatorship Rights and duties Rights and duties Visitation Scheduling Visitation Scheduling Child Support Child Support

16 CHILD SUPPORT Child support is the money a judge orders the non-primary parent to pay the primary parent for the child's benefit. How exactly the money is used is up to the sole discretion of the primary parent; the parent who pays has no authority to dictate the manner of use of the money. How long do payments last? How long do payments last? How much is each payment? How much is each payment? What happens if payments aren't made? What happens if payments aren't made?

17 Kirk Kerkorian & Lisa Bonder Kirk's Net Worth: $10 billion Once ranked seventh on the women's professional tennis circuit, Bonder is now probably best known as Kerkorian's ex-wife. She fought with him for several years in court over child- support payments for her daughter Kira, even though he turned out not to be the biological father. Bonder reportedly asked Kerkorian for almost $4 million per year to cover everything from lavish play dates and parties to pet care. He eventually agreed to pay a more modest monthly settlement of a reported $50,000.

18 Ted Turner & Jane Fonda Ted's Net Worth: $2 billion One of America's most famous unions came unraveled in early Reports cited Fonda's new- found devotion to religion as a possible cause. The movie star filed for divorce on April 16, 2001, and the proceedings was finalized five weeks later on May 22-- the matter being handled expeditiously and very privately. What's most notable about this split is how civilized it appears to have been, particularly for eccentric billionaire Turner and outspoken movie star Fonda.


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