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5 things that make divorce more complicated

You're heading toward divorce. You hope it's going to be simple. You just want to move on from this relationship. You're done with it, and you want to put it in the past.

Unfortunately, you know that divorce often gets complicated. What are some things to watch out for? Below are a few of the most common things that complicate the process.

1. Kids.

Splitting up with kids is tough, and not just emotionally. There are so many details that you have to hash out. Where will they live? Who has to pay support? How are both parents going to stay involved? What rights do you have? Plus, the courts tend to focus on the best interests of the children, so they become the main point considered in almost all cases.

2. Owning a business.

You and your spouse were in love and newly married, and you opened a business together. Ten years later, the business is successful, but your marriage isn't. How are you going to divide up ownership? Do you want to buy your spouse out? Are you going to keep working together as business partners even after the divorce?

3. Pension plans.

Your spouse isn't using his or her pension yet. However, you know it exists, and you know how valuable it is. Do you have a claim? You were counting on that money for retirement, after all. Had you known you wouldn't get it, you would have made other financial decisions. What rights do you have even if your spouse doesn't start using the pension until you've been apart for years?

4. Royalties.

Your spouse is a successful artist. He or she gets royalty checks, and they're no joke. You basically live off of them. Do you have a right to any of these royalties after the divorce? Or is that income gone? Royalties are also non-standard payments -- they can differ from month to month -- so how will that impact things like child support and spousal support?

5. Anger.

Maybe you and your spouse aren't on good terms. He or she wasn't faithful, and you're mad about it. This divorce wasn't your idea. It's ruining your plans for your life.

Any divorce case in which one party is angry with the other is likely to be more complicated than one in which both people are on good terms. It can play into all of the other areas mentioned above, as you may be more likely to make emotional decisions about children, assets and all the rest.

When divorce isn't as easy as you wish it was, be sure to focus on your rights. Know what they are and what you can do to protect them. Never let the complicated situation make you sacrifice what you deserve.

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