Are you going through a divorce? As commonplace as divorce may seem, the
legal aspects of a divorce can still be extremely complex and difficult
to navigate. From the get-go, you will have several decisions to make
in regards to your wishes and goals, most of which will impact your personal
life and financial situation for years to come. In order to adequately
prepare yourself for your divorce, make sure you are familiar with some
of the most common divorce terms.
Before you begin your divorce, discover the significance of these fundamental
1. Alimony: Alimony, also called spousal support or spousal maintenance, is a form
of payment one spouse makes to the other during or after the divorce.
Alimony payments are meant to help the lesser earning spouse pay for basic
living essentials or to help maintain the same state of living enjoyed
during the marriage.
2. Annulment: In some cases, couples may seek to completely eliminate their marriage
rather than ending it. An annulment makes it so that the marriage never
existed, legally speaking, whereas a divorce ends the marriage, but still
acknowledges its existence. Annulments are only granted in extreme circumstances,
usually because one spouse was deceived, forced, or mentally incapacitated.
3. Equitable Distribution: When property is divided in a divorce, the court will follow a rule known
as equitable distribution. Through this policy, all of the assets owned
by the married couple will be divided in a way that is fair, but not necessarily equal.
4. Modification: Even after the court makes a decision, modifications may be possible
later on down the line. For example, you may seek to modify your child
custody agreement if your parenting roles alter or you may ask to modify
a spousal support agreement if your financial situation changes.
5. Parenting Plan: If a divorcing couple has children from the marriage, they will need to
negotiate a child custody arrangement, which is also called a parenting
plan. The parenting plan will address who is the child’s custodial
parent and what the other parent’s visitation rights are, or it
will outline the parents’ shared custody agreement. Parenting plans
might also outline spousal support agreements and other major parenting
6. Prenuptial / Postnuptial Agreement: Before the marriage even takes place, couples may opt to create a prenuptial
agreement, which is an official legal document that gives specific instructions
in the event of a divorce. Prenups can include directions for property
division, spousal support, and child custody. Couples might also create
a postnuptial agreement, which is essentially the same but takes place
after the marriage.
If you are going through a divorce, don’t try to go through the legal
battle alone. Discuss your options today with an experienced divorce attorney.
Contact the Law Office of Kathryn Marteeny
today to discuss your divorce case with our Houston family law lawyers.