Who gets the dog?
But the real question is: Who gets whatever, fill in the blanks, when a couple divorces. Or maybe asked another way: What can I get out of this broken relationship in the divorce process? What property is really mine or what property am I entited to get? This part of the divorce process has many names: equitable distribution, marital property settlement, or simply divvying up the stuff! This is a really though area of the divorce process and it is a mine field of potential hazzards. Some people do OK and can be friendly and fairly give and take, but they are proably the exceptions. There are many ways to approach this, but please make sure you have an attorney who is there to help you. NOTE: An attorney just for you. I hear so often from already divorced individuals that they just used their spouse’s lawyer. Separate and independent legal counsel is so important in divorce. I know divorce can be expensive and not everybody has the money to pay a lawyer up front, but there is always the possibility of a payment plan and having your own attorney working just for you is so important.
OK. Now who gets the dog? And the answer is: That depends. Or, who gets the house? Or, who gets that Adirondack chairs you bought, as a couple, years ago at a yard sale in upstate New York, on a beautiful and sunny October day? Or, who gets the General Motors stocks? Or, who gets the cabin in Vermont? Or, who gets ____________ ?
Did you have a prenup?
If you had a prenuptial agreement, signed before you were married, or a postnuptial agreement, signed after you were married, this will be of help in deciding who gets what, if there is anything to get. Not every couple has a lot of property that can be characterized as marital property and some couples have a lot.