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FAQ

FAQ

Does my divorce decree protect me if my ex-spouse has filed for bankruptcy and she has listed me as a co-signer on a Schedule D?
How is the amount of child support determined?
How long must child support be paid?
What is involved in starting the process for a divorce or dissolution?

Does my divorce decree protect me if my ex-spouse has filed for bankruptcy and she has listed me as a co-signer on a Schedule D?

If you are contractually bound with your ex-spouse on a debt, the creditor can require the entire payment of that debt from your share of the community property even though the divorce decree assigns the debt to your ex-spouse. Depending on the terms of your divorce decree, you may be able to have certain support obligations under it determined to be non-dischargeable by the bankruptcy court or in state court. If you find out that your ex-spouse has filed for bankruptcy, you should seek legal advice to find out your possible obligations.

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How is the amount of child support determined?

Federal law now requires that the amount of a child support payment be set in accordance with a guideline. Having a guideline is believed to prevent widely different amounts of child support being ordered from courtroom to courtroom. Guidelines provide an objective basis for the determination of the amount of support to be paid. As a result, most states have established formulas that are used to determine the amount of the payment from one parent to the other.

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How long must child support be paid?

The duration of this responsibility depends upon state law. All states require both parents to be financially responsible for their child during the child`s minority, generally through the child`s high school years. A few states have extended the time for financial responsibility beyond the minority of the child. Child support can be terminated in the event of the death of the child, if the child goes on active duty in the armed forces, or if the child becomes emancipated or self-supporting.

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What is involved in starting the process for a divorce or dissolution?

The first step would be the filing of a properly executed petition with the appropriate court.The court must have what is called subject-matter jurisdiction which would entail satisfying the requirements of residency or domicile within the state and county dictated by the statute. This can be as little as six weeks or as long as three to six months. Without this threshold requirement being met the court would not have the jurisdiction to hear the matter and execute an order or decree of divorce, or dissolution, or like orders terminating the marital state.

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