One of the first hearings you must attend after filing for divorce is a preliminary divorce hearing. This hearing is a vital part of a divorce, especially if you have children, and the court will likely schedule it shortly after you file for divorce. Before you attend this hearing, you must meet with a divorce attorney to discuss the issues that you need to settle at this court appearance. Here are some of the issues you might want to settle during it.
Who Lives in the Marital House
If you own a house with your spouse, you must discuss is who will live in the house and who will move out of the home. Both spouses might want to stay in the home, but the judge will not allow this unless the spouses agree to stay living together. The spouse who stays in the home must be able to afford it if they will pay the bills for the home.
Where the Children Live
The second thing to discuss is where the children will live. It is often better for the kids to stay living in the family home. Therefore, the spouse who receives custody rights of the kids often gets to stay in the home with the kids. There are times when this is not the case, but you can fight for this if you want to stay in the home with your children.
Who Pays the Bills
The next thing you must discuss is who will pay the bills. Who pays the house payment? Who pays the utilities and car payments? Which spouse must pay the debt? If you have little debt, this might be easy to decide, but it becomes more challenging when a couple has a lot of debt.
The Child Support Amount
The spouse that receives custody of the kids might be entitled to receive child support for them, too. The judge will likely compare your income to your spouses to determine how much one spouse must pay the other.
The Visitation Schedule
Finally, you will need to discuss the visitation schedule for the kids. If you get custody of them, your spouse will have the right to see them. You should make a clear plan for this while you are at your preliminary hearing.
A preliminary hearing provides a way to create a temporary agreement for the divorce. It is subject to change, though. If you have questions about it, talk to a divorce attorney.
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