What Should I Ask For in My Divorce Settlement

What Should I Ask For in My Divorce Settlement?

Going through a divorce is an emotionally challenging and difficult time for anyone. Along with the emotional turmoil, there are various legal and financial aspects that need to be addressed during the divorce settlement. It is crucial to understand your rights and what you should ask for in your divorce settlement to ensure a fair and satisfactory outcome. Here are some key points to consider when determining what to ask for in your divorce settlement.

1. Property Division: One of the most significant aspects of a divorce settlement is the division of marital property. Make a comprehensive list of all assets, including real estate, vehicles, investments, and personal belongings, and discuss how they should be divided.

2. Child Custody and Support: If you have children, determine the custody arrangement that is in the best interest of the children. You should also discuss child support payments, including expenses related to education, healthcare, and extracurricular activities.

3. Spousal Support: Depending on the circumstances, you may be entitled to spousal support or alimony. Consider your financial needs and the ability of your spouse to contribute towards your support. Discuss the duration and amount of spousal support that would be fair.

4. Retirement Accounts and Pensions: Determine how retirement accounts and pensions will be divided. Seek professional advice to ensure that these assets are divided correctly and in compliance with legal requirements.

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5. Debts and Liabilities: Discuss the division of debts and liabilities acquired during the marriage, including mortgages, loans, and credit card debts. Determine who will be responsible for these obligations after the divorce.

6. Insurance Coverage: Review your current insurance policies, including health, life, and auto insurance. Decide if any changes need to be made in terms of coverage or beneficiaries.

7. Tax Considerations: Understand the tax implications of your divorce settlement. Consult with a tax professional to ensure you are aware of any potential tax consequences, such as capital gains and deductions related to child support or alimony.

8. Business Interests: If you or your spouse own a business, determine how it will be divided or if one party will buy out the other’s share. Seek professional assistance to assess the value of the business accurately.

9. Estate Planning: Review and update your estate planning documents, including wills, trusts, and powers of attorney. Consider any changes that need to be made to reflect your new financial situation and ensure your wishes are protected.


1. How long does it take to finalize a divorce settlement?
The duration of a divorce settlement varies depending on the complexity of the issues involved and the cooperation between the parties. It can take several months to years to reach a final settlement.

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2. Can I ask for sole custody of my children?
You can ask for sole custody of your children, but the court will consider the best interests of the child when making a custody decision. Factors such as the child’s relationship with each parent, stability, and the ability to provide for the child’s needs will be considered.

3. Can I request alimony even if I have a job?
Alimony can be awarded even if you have a job, especially if there is a significant difference in income between you and your spouse. Factors such as the duration of the marriage, your financial needs, and your spouse’s ability to pay will be considered.

4. Will I receive a portion of my spouse’s retirement accounts?
Depending on the length of the marriage and the specific laws in your jurisdiction, you may be entitled to receive a portion of your spouse’s retirement accounts.

5. What happens to the debts acquired during the marriage?
Debts acquired during the marriage are generally divided between the parties during the divorce settlement. The court will consider various factors, such as who benefited from the debt and the ability of each party to repay.

6. Can my spouse and I negotiate the terms of our divorce settlement without going to court?
Yes, it is possible to negotiate the terms of your divorce settlement outside of court through mediation or collaborative divorce. This can be a less adversarial and more cost-effective approach.

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7. What happens if my spouse hides assets during the divorce proceedings?
Hiding assets during divorce proceedings is illegal. If you suspect your spouse is hiding assets, consult with an attorney who can help you uncover any hidden assets and ensure a fair division of property.

8. Can I change the terms of my divorce settlement after it is finalized?
In general, once a divorce settlement is finalized, it is difficult to change the terms. However, certain circumstances, such as a significant change in financial circumstances or a violation of the settlement terms, may warrant a modification.

9. Do I need an attorney to help me with my divorce settlement?
While it is possible to navigate the divorce process without an attorney, it is highly recommended to seek professional legal advice. An attorney can guide you through the complex legal aspects, protect your rights, and ensure a fair settlement.

In conclusion, determining what to ask for in your divorce settlement requires careful consideration of various factors such as property division, child custody, support, and financial obligations. Seeking professional guidance and understanding your rights will help you secure a fair and satisfactory outcome.