Columbia, MS Family Lawyer

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Columbia, MS Family Law Attorney

Facing a divorce may be frustrating, confusing, and a cause of anxiety. It can often be messy and cause great emotional turmoil as well. If you hope to receive custody of your children, alimony, or particular joint assets, the process becomes even more difficult. You need the help of a Marion County divorce attorney to help walk you through your divorce case. For domestic disputes, consult with a Columbia, MS family lawyer.

A family attorney can ensure that all disputes are handled legally and wisely without allowing emotions to drive the decisions made.

Identify What You Want From the Divorce

The goal of a divorce is to split the couple’s assets, debts, and other property as fairly as possible. If children are involved, then the divorce includes determining with which parent they will live with or if there will be joint custody. There are several aspects that the judge must determine for the final divorce decree, such as:

  • Child support
  • Child custody
  • Splitting of the marital property
  • Splitting of any marital debts
  • Awarding of alimony to one spouse

As you prepare to advocate for your side in the divorce case, consider what you want from the divorce. Ask yourself what is most important to you, and determine what would benefit you and your family most. This is not easy to do alone, especially when there are multiple marital assets and children involved.

For instance, you may have joint ownership of a home with your spouse, along with retirement accounts, additional bank accounts, real estate investments, stocks, and other investments. While you may want sole ownership of your home, you may not be able to afford the mortgage on one income. Other investments will need to be divided, and you must determine which you prefer.

A divorce lawyer can help you plan your next steps and help you walk through these decisions. The lawyer will share your options as you make these difficult choices and help you see possible outcomes.

Fighting for Custody Rights

Divorces can be messy, especially when there is a fight over who gets to claim custody of the children. In certain cases, both parents may want sole custody rights so that the children will live with them at all times. Sometimes, the parents calmly agree to a custody plan, but unfortunately, this is not always the case.

When there is a fight for custody, hiring a family attorney is essential. Building a case to award you custody can be complicated and tedious, but it’s possible. Some evidence needed to support your side includes:

  • Supporting evidence of a close relationship with your children
  • Testimony from those who have witnessed you and your children’s relationship
  • Proof of mental, physical, and emotional stability
  • Proof of your spouse’s parental inability

A judge may grant temporary custody orders for a time until the divorce is finalized. As these are temporary, they still lay the foundation for a permanent custody agreement, so it is important to create a strong case for your position in order to be granted custody.

Fighting for Alimony Rights

Receiving alimony means that one spouse is financially supporting the other by paying a certain amount of money. If, for example, your spouse has a higher income than you do or is the sole provider of the family, you have a better chance of being granted alimony.

In the past, judges would only grant alimony to the wife, as they tended to make less money or stay home with the children. Today, however, either the wife or the husband may be awarded alimony. In order to receive alimony, the judge will take into consideration:

  • Both spouse’s incomes
  • Both spouse’s financial assets, as well as any debts
  • The age and health of the couple
  • Both spouse’s expenses
  • The amount of time they were married
  • If one spouse is a stay-at-home parent
  • If one spouse is responsible for the marriage ending

Once awarded, these payments may be paid over time in monthly installments, or one may be paid upon the finalization of the divorce. In certain cases, alimony may last indefinitely, or it will only last for a certain amount of time. Keep in mind that alimony is not guaranteed, so it is important to ask a divorce attorney to help you in your case.

Negotiating With the Help of a Lawyer

Divorce does not have to become a fight between the couple. An agreement between the two can be made regarding marital property, assets, and debts. Even child custody and alimony agreements can be made peacefully. In this case, a marital separation agreement can be written and sent to the judge for approval.

This is not usually plausible, however, if both spouses are so angry with each other that they cannot stand to be in each other’s presence. In this instance, the ideal way to handle negotiation is to allow a divorce lawyer to objectively defend your side.

Saving Money by Hiring a Divorce Attorney

You may feel as though hiring a divorce attorney will cost you too much money and try to handle your divorce on your own. In reality, a lawyer can save you money. They will help you consider the taxes required if you ask for property or take on debt from the divorce. They can also fight for your need for child support. A lawyer can advocate for your need for alimony and can give you overall peace of mind that you are doing all you can to get what you deserve.

How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Lawyer in Mississippi?

As each case is unique, there is no way to give an exact amount for the cost of a lawyer. There are several cases, such as divorce, child custody, and property distribution, that involve different factors. Lawyers in the state of Mississippi often charge around $300 an hour, with about a $5,000 retainer. However, some lawyers allow for flexible billing.

Consult With a Columbia, MS Family Lawyer and Marion County Divorce Attorney

You don’t have to battle with your spouse alone over splitting up assets, property, or custody. Seeking the help of a talented attorney can make for an easier, smoother divorce process. Contact Berry Law Firm to begin developing your case.

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