A divorce isn’t just a separation of two people; it also includes a separation of their possessions and assets. By and large, most divorce “battles” are centered on the division of property, because both parties often feel entitled to what they assumed was theirs during the marriage. This often brings out the more vile and cruel attitudes and debates, as getting a divorce is hard enough, and no one wants to lose some of their property as well.
First, if you have children, you should fight to be given child custody. This is a very emotional part of the divorce settlement, but I find it to be the one that should be addressed first, so it isn’t festering in the background as the process unfolds. Even if you are not granted full custody or physical child custody, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t plead your case for favorable visitation rights. First of all, it is important to remember that there is no such thing as permanent custody, nor are visitation hours set in stone. By being consistently present in your children’s life, you not only continue to build and maintain a relationship with your child, but you show the court and everyone involved that you are committed to staying in your child’s life, you want to be present, and you deserve a favorable modification to the current custody agreement.
The other big thing to ask for in a divorce settlement is the family home, which, although possible, can sometimes have a few strings attached. Many spouses hold tight to the marital home with a vengeance, because the idea of being forced out of their home isn’t even an option.
It is important to note that in most cases, you will have to buy out your spouse’s right to the home, as you are both entitled to the home you both lived in. It is also important to consider if you can afford the house, after potentially having to pay your spouse. Some people decide to refinance their home, but of course that is not without its risks as well. With your lawyer and accountant, weigh the pros and cons between keeping the house you are familiar with but may prove to be a financial burden, or ask your spouse to buy out your equity in the home, and you can use that to buy a new residence.