We had separate rooms it was helpful, the attorneys worked things out in another room.
And, yes, the attys don’t really prepare us for this, but they try to explain it all that day.
I took a deep breath and listened carefully.
I THINK her AP isn’t allowed there, if that helps.
Our debts and assets were divided equitably, but medical bills on the children were divided by income differences. And xh had to keep health ins on the children bc he made more than I did.
Try to be the parent who makes the final decision on medical, school issues, etc, if that’s a thing in CA. Also my atty told me not to bring up moving out of state since I was getting primary custody. (Because whatever I ask for, they would want something else negotiated).
But ask your atty if a parent can move away with the children if they are under 18. and who would pay transportation costs if it’s allowed. Many people on SI said they have in their final decree that no one can move the children, but I THINK it went to SCOTUS and parents can move to other states with the children bc of their work.
One main thing is this: my atty assumed the income from work was the W-2 and tax return. I argued with him until I told him to look at the last pay check stub from the previous year and the most current pay stub. Of course pre-tax money was going to life ins, 401k, disability ins, accident ins, on and on. So I got my settlement and child support based on his actual income.
In my case, both attys didn’t want to go to court, they said you never know what the judge would do, and we weren’t really wealthy, so they continued to work on details at the meeting. If I remember correctly, we had another settlement meeting later to work out other details.
I was told anything was negotiable!
Nowadays, the IRS lets parents claim the children on taxes even if the child doesn’t live with them, if it’s agreed on in a D decree. So, I was allowed to claim the eldest. When he turned 18, we were to alternate claiming the youngest. But the older one was in college, had been living with me, so I was able to continue to claim him as a dependent and I claimed the youngest on mine also on my years allowed. I would say where the child physically lives would matter. So if they are physically living with your Ww, then get the option to claim the youngest, if they live with you, then either one is ok, I think.
Our state doesn’t allow requiring a parent to pay for college, but your state might.
Look online for your states standard visitation, etc.
be sure to ask for for July 4 and Halloween to be alternate years as well as Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, etc.
If you own a home, that issue is probably going to be discussed. I really wanted the house and custody, so I secretly would have given up a lot for it. If your ww wants the house, I’d see what your atty says. I personally would have sold it before I let my xh have it, but some people here in SI preferred having the ws pay them cash for their part of the house to find a new place they could start over in.
Also if anything has to be done, put a timeline on it, like within 3 months of final hearing.
There are several people on SI involved in the legal field, so be sure to post after the meeting, too if you have questions.
[This message edited by homewrecked2011 at 1:16 AM, Sunday, July 10th]