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Don't compare your divorce to others -- they're all unique

Most people in Gulfport have known someone who has gotten a divorce or may even be the child of divorced parents. Therefore, they may think they have a good idea of what goes on during a divorce. However, each divorce is different, so you cannot predict that your divorce will go exactly the same way as your friend's, neighbor's or parent's divorce. That being said, there are a few common issues that a divorce will address.

First of all, in a divorce, the property owned by the couple will be divided. How it is divided varies by state. Keep in mind that some assets will not be included in the property division process. Moreover, a completely even split might not happen, making it difficult to predict how property division will go down. Because the division of property can be incredibly personal, it may help to try to have your attorney negotiate a settlement out-of-court with your ex's attorney in order to reach a deal that both spouses agree upon, rather than leaving the entire decision up to the court.

A divorce will also address spousal support and child support, if necessary. Most states have statutory formulas to calculate child support, but deviations are possible. However, most states do not have a statutory formula to calculate spousal support, although there may be certain factors to consider. Since the court address spousal support on a case-by-case basis, it is hard to say whether your result will be the same as the result of someone else you know.

Finally, a divorce will also address child custody and visitation if the couple has children. In general, the standard for such decisions is the "best interests of the child." However, there are other factors that may be considered, making it difficult to predict what will happen. Because these issues are often very emotional, this is another case in which negotiating an out-of-court settlement can lead to an arrangement that satisfies everyone.

As this shows, there is no textbook version of a divorce. Just as every couple is different, so is every divorce. Therefore, instead of trying to compare your divorce to those of others you know, it may be best to consult with an attorney, who can examine your case in order to give you a better perspective on what to expect.

Source: FindLaw, "What Is Divorce Good For?," accessed Aug. 9, 2016

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