Separating from your spouse is the first of many steps toward a final divorce decree. After filing your petition and listing the cause or grounds of your marital demise, you will need to either reach a compromise on a few key issues or the family law judge will.
Learn about what it is you need to resolve before the judge grants your request to return your legal status to single.
Two classifications of property become significant during a divorce. Separate property is anything you owned before you married that remains in your name. This can include bank accounts and real property. Separate property is not subject to division in a divorce and remains with the named owner, as long as it has not comingled with marital property.
The assets and debts the court will want you to address are those you accumulated while married. All of these are subject to an equitable division by the court. This entails the judge examining the total financial and marital relationship to reach a fair and reasonable divide. This does not equate to equal in some circumstances.
If you and your spouse have children together, the court requires legal and physical custody designations. The court prefers you to equally share in both but understands this is not always feasible. A parenting plan sets out a schedule that indicates who will have physical custody of the children at any given time.
You and your spouse should try reaching a compromise and resolution of any of these issues before the court steps in. However, if that cannot happen, know that the judge will do it before granting the divorce.