The process of getting a divorce can be difficult no matter who the parties are. With long hours and the extra burden that can be a part the job, doctors can be particularly vulnerable to their marriages falling apart. Because many doctors are high-income earners and some have their own private practice, a divorce involving one or more doctors can be complicated. For these reasons and more, when doctors decide to get a divorce, a special set of considerations may exist. Here’s what you should look out for if you or your spouse is a doctor and are headed toward the dissolution of your marriage.
Doctors Divorce and Special Concerns
In many ways, a divorce involving a doctor is not much different than any other. If you or your spouse are a doctor and seek a divorce in Oklahoma, you will still need to file a petition with the court to end your marriage. Your divorce may be granted in as little as ten days from the filing of the petition. If you have children, then you must wait 90 days after filing for your divorce for it to be finalized. Some counties may require both you and your spouse to attend a class on the effects of divorce on children.
Still, doctors can face unique circumstances during a divorce for several reasons. They include:
Medical School Debt When Doctors Divorce
Because doctors often take out loans to pay for medical school, there may be a significant amount of student loan debt. For many doctors, this debt was likely taken on before the marriage. If this debt was accumulated during the marriage, it might be split up among the parties upon divorce.
Division Of The Medical Practice
Many doctors who have become well-established open their own medical practice. To be sure, a medical practice is a business like any other and, in many cases, is worth a significant amount of money. Even if the practice was established before the marriage, the court might still divide it equitably if it is determined that the business grew during the marriage. The court may be hesitant to split up a practice if its existence is needed to pay alimony. In those instances, the court may order a cash payment or other assets to be awarded instead of selling the practice.
Alimony In Physician Divorces
In cases where one of the parties supported the other while in medical school, the court may be willing to order alimony until the receiving spouse can support themselves. While usually temporary, alimony can be permanent if it is unlikely that the receiving spouse will ever re-enter the workforce. This is more common in couples that are advanced in age or married for an extended period. In some instances that involve infidelity or alleged infidelity this could inflame the demand for alimony.
Custody Issues in Divorce
Because a doctor’s workload is often demanding, when children are a part of a divorce involving a doctor, special attention may need to be paid to crafting a custody arrangement that can accommodate a hectic schedule. Included in this is considering if you want joint custody or sole custody. This can present a challenge and may require additional childcare resources and a robust support system. As a result, you may have to attend extensive court hearings to determine custody and visitation.
Because of the complex and unique set of circumstances that divorces involving doctors can present, it is always recommended to consult with a family law attorney before you decide to end your marriage.
Tulsa Okla. Divorce Attorneys
Your divorce could be a straightforward process in which you and your spouse have no contested issues. However, it could become challenging if drama ensues over the division of assets, alimony, and child custody. Kania Law Office has substantial experience helping clients with divorce and other family law matters. Those things include things you should avoid doing during your divorce as well as things that will ensure you get what you are after. Our knowledgeable and compassionate attorneys can advise you, draft agreements that fit your needs, file the appropriate paperwork with the court, and attend hearings or other mediations as required to get you through it all. For more insights on getting divorced, reach out today to Kania Law Office at (918) 743-2233 or contact us online for a free consultation.