So, after 25 years Mary and John have decided to part ways. The kids are now grown, and they both feel that they can terminate the marriage by dissolution, rather than by the high-conflict divorce. After all, as they have told each other, they are adults. Both make significant incomes, so by mutual agreement, neither wants or needs spousal support.
They understand that they both need to have their own attorney, but together at home in the evenings they have amicably been sitting at the kitchen table with their notepads, making a list of all of their assets, so that they can go through the completed list and then decide, ever so politely, who gets what.
After several evenings of working on their lists, they now have compiled a complete list of everything they own: Stocks, 401K’s, Pension, IRA’s, Mutual Funds, Savings Accounts, Cars, the old crummy boat they wished they never bought, bicycles, tools in the garage, the house of course, and the contents of the house.
Then, they start dividing….
Funny how the best laid plans fall apart at this point. Even though Mary is making a great living now…John points out that she didn’t work for the first 15 years of marriage! So, why should he be dividing HIS 401K 50/50 with her, when He was the one working his butt off for the first 15 years! Mary is shocked, livid and hurt. What was she doing during these 15 years? Has he forgotten who kept the home and kids together so that he could be out there working???
Then they visit their respective attorneys….
Mary: “he claims I can’t get ½ of his 401K”
John: “She claims she gets ½ of MY 401K”
Then, with the help of their attorneys, they both get a reality check on this! But then there is that list of household goods and furnishings. Mary wants the coffee pot. John wants the coffee pot. And they both get their attorneys involved on negotiating that coffee pot!!!
Now, how much did that coffee pot cost? Why the argument over something that can be replaced cheaper than 30 minutes of time of ONE of the attorney’s hourly rate? Sometimes, it isn’t really about the coffee pot. Sometimes it is really about the pain of the loss of the marriage. A good attorney can guide the client through this emotionally charged time. Even an “amicable” termination is painful. The attorneys at Joseph & Joseph, Co. LPA are experienced and knowledgeable, and stand ready to by your advocate.
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