When I was in law school, I had a professor who always answered our questions by saying “it depends”. It was maddening! My fellow law students and I tried all year to get him to answer with a “yes” or “no.” We failed at every attempt.
Now, having practiced law for many years, I think I get it. While the statutes strive to ensure people similarly situated are treated the same, people are not always similarly situated.
If you ask me whether or not you will receive – or have to pay – child support and how much will it be, my response is (shudder), “it depends.” It depends on the incomes of the parties, the parenting time schedule, who pays the health insurance and the cost of day care.
If you ask me whether or not you will receive – or have to pay – alimony (also known as maintenance), my response is the same: “it depends.” It depends on the incomes of the parties, length of marriage, age of the parties, standard of living during the marriage, and several other statutory factors.
And if you ask me how much the divorce process costs, the answer is, “it depends.” I can honestly say, the more you and your soon-to-be-ex fight, the higher the cost. The more agreements we reach, the lower the cost. This is why I strive to work with you to identify your goals, determine what is worthy (and NOT worthy) of litigation, and try to calm things down. I’m not a push-over, but I refuse to argue for the sake of arguing. Sometimes a trial is the only method to resolve a case – and I love a good trial. But for your sake, I would much rather we resolve your case in a manner that is cost effective, reduces future conflict, and allows your family to move forward with a “new normal.”
So if I get the chance to meet you, and answer one of your questions with, “it depends,” don’t worry. We will figure out the best solution for your family based on your individual circumstances.