Divorce Lawyer Bridgeport, CT
As your divorce lawyer in Bridgeport, CT from Willinger, Willinger & Bucci, P.C. knows, divorce can be an expensive and emotionally-fueled legal process. It isn’t uncommon to hear that people have spent thousands and thousands of dollars leading up to divorce finalization. Here is some insight that can help potentially reduce costs and maybe minimize some of the heartaches you feel, too.
Choose the Right Approach
You may decide between a collaborative, mediation, or arbitration divorce, which can help you prevent the costs of a prolonged and drawn-out battle. Your lawyer can speak with you about the factors of your divorce and suggest which path will yield the best results. Don’t hesitate to contact a lawyer as soon as you know divorce is on the horizon. It’s ideal to consult with legal representation sooner rather than later, so your best interests are always protected.
As your CT divorce lawyer in Bridgeport can explain, in a collaborative divorce, each spouse agrees to establish an agreement that is reasonably beneficial for each side. The couple chooses to enter the divorce process being open and willing to cooperate together.
With a mediation approach, a neutral third-party assists the couple in working through issues to arrive at a solution. A mediator is an unbiased person who is trained to help negotiations go smoothly. While the mediator is not a therapist, they do understand the emotional nuances of divorce. The mediator does not make any decisions for the parting spouses, but instead gently coaxes them in the direction of meeting in the middle on various divorce settlement topics.
Arbitration may occur when a couple has reached a stalemate in their negotiations and prefer to resolve their problems outside of court. By definition, divorce arbitration is a type of divorce trial, and some couples prefer this because it is handled in a private setting and not in a public courtroom.
The benefits of divorce arbitration include:
- Divorcing spouses can choose the arbitrator who will decide the outcome
- Divorcing spouses have the option to choose an arbitrator with certain experience in that area of law (real estate value, taxes, property division, parental rights, and visitation, etc.)
- Spouses can request certain issues to be handled by the arbitrator
- Spouses can relax into a private, less formal, and confidential setting
- Spouses can choose the location, time, and day of the hearing
Reasons to Consider a Prenuptial Agreement
One way to avoid the potential messy battles of a divorce is to sign a prenuptial agreement before you are even married. Prenuptial agreements are often associated with the wealthy. While it is true that some wealthy people chose to enter prenuptial agreements, the reality is that more and more couples who are not wealthy make sure they have a prenup in place before they exchange their vows. The best place to start to determine if you should have a prenuptial agreement is with a divorce lawyer in Bridgeport, CT.
The following are some of the most common reasons why couples choose a prenup.
One Spouse Is a Business Owner
If a couple decides to get married and one partner is a business owner, they may want to protect their business in the event of a divorce, because business assets earned during the course of a marriage are considered marital property. For instance, if a small business was only worth a few thousand dollars before the marriage, but worth $4 million 10 years later at the time of divorce, essentially all of the business is marital property. And, because the business cannot be chopped up and sold just for the other partner to get their fair share of the marital property, they will either become a partial owner or they will end up with the majority of the other marital property.
Moreover, the value of a business is difficult to determine. The other party’s attorney may overvalue the business, leaving the business owner with even less of the other marital property. While the non-business owner is awarded the house, vehicles, furniture, bank accounts, and investments, the other spouse could only be left with the business, which may technically be worth a fair amount, but it would have to be sold to pay for a new home.
If one of the spouses has a large amount of debt, their credit will negatively impact the credit score of the other spouse once they are married and have joint credit cards. A Bridgeport, CT divorce lawyer can put a clause in the prenup stating that credit scores must be checked frequently, the marriage will not have any joint credit cards or shared bank accounts, and other measures that will protect one spouse from the poor credit (and debt collectors) from the other.
Even more important to consider than credit is debt. While debt from before the marriage remains the debt of each spouse, debt incurred during the marriage becomes both of the spouse’s debt. Student loans, car loans, mortgages, credit card debt, and all other forms of secured and unsecured loans become marital property.
One or Both Spouses Have Children from Prior Relationships
While the divorce rate for first-time marriages is high, the rate for second and subsequent marriages is even higher. If a spouse has children from a prior relationship, their Bridgeport, CT divorce lawyer can draw up a prenuptial agreement that will guarantee that whatever assets and property they have prior to the marriage will be protected for their children’s future should the marriage not work out.
Call Willinger, Willinger & Bucci, P.C.
For assistance with your divorce proceeding and other family law matters, contact our law firm promptly. We are well-versed in handling the delicate matters that divorce brings. Call a divorce lawyer in Bridgeport, Connecticut from Willinger, Willinger & Bucci, P.C. now.