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If a person wishes to terminate his or her marriage, he or she may file for a divorce. In a divorce proceeding, the court will terminate the marriage and determine the rights and responsibilities of the divorcing parties regarding child custody, child visitation, child support and spousal support (alimony). The court will also redistribute marital assets.
Depending on where you reside and where your assets are, the division of property can be a very simple or very complex process. Disputes often arise during this phase of a divorce if the two parties disagree as to who should receive which assets or property.
Finding a divorce lawyer who is experienced and reliable can reduce your stress and help you make the best choices possible. A good divorce lawyer should be a problem solver who is skilled at negotiation and possesses a solid trial background. If both parties are open to alternative dispute resolution, such as arbitration or mediation, finding a lawyer experienced in collaborative divorce or divorce mediation would be beneficial.
Divorce lawyers also handle child custody issues, including multi-state and international child custody situations. Some divorce lawyers may be certified by their states as being family law specialists. Certification often requires that a lawyer meet certain experience and educational criteria.
A parent with legal custody has the right to decide on the child's upbringing, education, and medical care. A court may grant legal custody to one parent (sole legal custody) or both parents (joint legal custody).
Property acquired before marriage or during the marriage as a gift or inheritance, or bought during marriage with separate property.