When someone decides to divorce, they often confide in family or friends about their situation. These conversations can be important in defining goals and finding support during an emotional time. However, moral support is a far cry from solid advice and guidance. Commentators and divorce lawyers often discuss the myths and misconceptions that many people have over divorce.
While no blog post could possibly cover every myth and misconception that may loom on the internet — or in conversations between friends — this post will present a few of the common myths that may impact some important decisions when creating a divorce strategy.
Myth Number 1: I Can Just Look Up A Child Support Calculator Online To Get The Proper Result
While it is true that the Minnesota child support guidelines are highly dependent upon a mathematical formula, calculating child support in an individual situation can be more complicated than merely throwing numbers into a calculator. In many cases, especially those that involve business interests or high-income packages, it can be difficult to determine actual income without a deep analysis of the complete picture. Bad math in begets an inaccurate result in the end. Moreover, courts are given discretion to deviate up or down from the guidelines when the individual circumstances warrant a departure to serve the best interests of the child.
Myth Number 2: If I Give Up The House In The Divorce I Am Automatically Free Of Responsibility For The Mortgage
In general, mortgage obligations are tied to contractual agreements with the lender. The bank is not a party to the divorce. However, your divorce agreement may make your spouse responsible for specified debts and hold you harmless from those debts. A financially savvy divorce lawyer can explain your legal options and help you to protect your post-divorce interests.
Myth Number 3: My Retirement Account At Work Is Exempt From The Property Division Process
State and federal laws generally make ERISA qualified retirement benefits exempt from creditors. However, these assets are generally marital assets in whole, or at least in part, depending upon your unique circumstances. ERISA qualified retirement assets are divisible in divorce. Your divorce attorney should draft a proper qualified domestic relations order for you, which is necessary to avoid unintended consequences.
Ending a marriage requires a detailed analysis of your assets, debts and goals for your post-divorce life. The complex arrangements you make to resolve divorce disputes related to finances, assets and your children should not be taken lightly. Getting sound guidance and solid representation now can give you peace of mind that your divorce is being handled properly.