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There are some things that divorce just cannot achieve

Divorce: What is it good for?

Before you chime in with "absolutely nothing!" like the famous song about war, consider some of the benefits of divorce: It helps appropriately divide property, solidify child custody responsibilities and identify financial support requirements. Dissolution of marriage can be a complicated event, both financially and emotionally. As a consequence, both parties entering into the endeavor should be aware of the processes that are likely to occur during their divorce. Divorce is not always predictable, but you can educate yourself to understand the proceedings, which makes you a more responsible legal client.

The primary function of divorce is property division, in which a divorce court attempts "equitable distribution" of property. That does not mean that every New York couple will see a perfect 50/50 split of their marital property; instead, the court strives for a fair estimate of this value. Equitable distribution may seem counter-intuitive to some -- after all, you should get half of your marital estate, right? The fact is that many assets are difficult to split down the middle. Consider your retirement accounts and other specialized holdings -- and assets that require valuation, like real estate -- and you begin to understand the divorce legal issues that can easily arise during this process.

Divorce also helps spouses and parents determine their financial obligations to each other and their children. Alimony, child support and other financial responsibilities are allocated during this process. Further, a child custody plan and parenting time arrangement is established during divorce -- though these may later be modified in family court, depending on circumstances.

Now that you know what divorce can do, we should mention the things that divorce cannot achieve. We already discussed the fact that precise and exact property division is unlikely to occur. In other words, divorce is not always "fair," but judges strive to be equitable. Divorce also cannot ensure that you and your ex will get along, and the courts cannot resolve your emotional concerns. Establishing a support network of professionals including financial gurus and mental health experts can help ease the transition from married life back into the single world.

Source: FindLaw, "What Is Divorce Good For?" Sep. 03, 2014

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