What Sort of Decisions Does a Judge Make in a Divorce?

When you start the divorce process, much of what happens is for you to decide. However, no matter what decisions you work out, it is up to a judge to approve them. In most cases, if the decisions are made in the best interest of both parties, it makes it easy for the judge to approve. However, they have a number of important decisions to make in the divorce process.

Dividing Property

If both parties in a divorce cannot reach a decision on how the assets of a divorce can be divided, then it will be up to the judge to decide. Much of their decision may be dictated by state law in which they will decide what is reasonable for both sides, but not necessarily what is equal.

Child Custody

Like property division, child custody is something that can be sorted out among the parents, but if they cannot reach a decision, the judge will then be responsible for deciding custody as well as other aspects like a parenting time plan and child support.

When it comes to decisions regarding children, the judge will always make their decisions in the best interest of the child. This means that unless evidence is presented against the other parent that shows them as, for instance, negligent or abusive, the judge will want both parents involved in a child’s life.

Depending on the outcome of the custody and parenting time issues, this will also affect the outcome of their decision for child support. One parent may receive a child support payment from the other parent in a divorce. As for how much, the judge will look at the income of both sides and calculate how much child support is necessary & appropriate. It can be difficult living on your own, and it can be even more difficult when you have children to raise as well.

Spousal Support

When getting a divorce, spousal support isn’t guaranteed. If you are going through a divorce and don’t believe you have enough income to support yourself, you will need to ask for it to be included since it is not automatic. When it comes to making this decision, the judge will look at the finances and needs of both parties. Depending on the income and expenses of both, work history, earning capacity, age, and the length of the marriage, it will all affect the judge’s decision on if they will award spousal support and for how much and for how long.

If you are going through a divorce, you should know that a judge’s decision may not always come out your way. This is why it strongly behooves you to try to settle many of these issues outside of the courtroom. If you and your spouse can come to a decision on your own, providing it is not wildly unfair, a judge is likely to approve it. This not only saves time, but it gives you the opportunity for an advantage and you will save a fair bit on lawyer fees. If you are going through a divorce and need help with the process and someone knowledgeable to represent your best interests, contact us today.