Coming to the decision to file for divorce can be a confusing, emotional, and painful experience. For one, presumably, the person from whom you’re about to separate is someone you’ve loved and had many great times with. Secondly, there are always complications beyond simply the separation of 2 people from a legal agreement. Money is a big one, as are children and property. The Charlotte Observer recently laid out the 3 things we most need to think about when considering filing for divorce.

Unless they’re in a unique situation, the vast majority of married couples live together and have shared ownership of various things such as houses and even debt. North Carolina law mandates that any asset or debt for either party during marriage can be split up. Assets that are obtained during this period are called “marital property”, and debts incurred are called “marital debts.” Most often, these are split equally between the spouses. Certain things, such as inheritances, aren’t generally considered marital property, except under very specific circumstances. It’s best to have a divorce attorney take a look at your assets and debts and see what qualifies and what doesn’t.

Then there’s money. Many times, one spouse has been the main or primary breadwinner as part of the partnership. After a divorce, the other spouse could be left in a tough spot if they don’t have the means to make ends meet. Spousal support or alimony is when one spouse provides financial support to the other. During a divorce, the court examines every aspect of each spouse’s situation. This includes their income, expenses, their ability to find a job and earn money, and various other factors. They will certainly also take into account adultery or other forms of misconduct in the marriage to decide how much support, if any, one spouse should give the other.

Last, and certainly not least, comes kids. There is so much that can impact the welfare of a child when parents separate and divorce. Choices need to be made to make sure to take care of the well-being of any children. There are two types of custody: physical custody and legal custody. Physical custody is the schedule by which the parents will abide for having the children with them. Parents can make the schedule themselves and even change it for specific events like birthdays and holiday. However, in some cases, a schedule has to be created by court order to settle disputes and ensure the child is able to spend time with both parents, if possible. Granting a parent Child Custody means that the parent makes most of the decisions for the child, such as for schooling and medical treatments. When it comes to child support, North Carolina has a formula to determine how much support should be paid, based on several factors.

Divorce is messy and confusing at the best of times. A divorce attorney in Charlotte can help examine your specific situation and make sure that your rights are protected throughout the process.