People have a lot of questions about divorce, what’s involved in it, how to move forward with a divorce, etc. As a result, we’ll try to answer some of the more commonly asked questions people have when facing divorce.
Divorce is a legal action between a married couple to dissolve their marriage. It may be called a dissolution of marriage and is essentially, the legal action that terminates the marriage prior to the passing of either spouses.
According to Justia, “A divorce is a legal decree that ends a marriage before the death of either spouse. During a divorce proceeding, a court may resolve issues of child custody, division of assets, and spousal support or alimony. After a divorce becomes final, the parties are no longer legally bound to one another, and are free to remarry or enter into a domestic partnership with another person.”
The best decision, if there’s any way to make it happen, is an uncontested divorce. This type of divorce is one where you both work collaboratively and come to an agreement on the conditions of the divorce, and file legal documents mutually to get the divorce. There’s no formalized trial, and you most likely will not ever have go to court.
If both fight over child custody and/or property so much that you cannot come to an agreement, and alternatively take these matters for a judge to decide, that is known as a contested divorce. You will go through the process of trading information, negotiating settlement arrangements, court hearings, and, when you cannot get the case resolves following that, go to court. If you believe this is your situation, you will want to speak with an attorney.
Collaborative divorces involve working alongside attorneys, but differently than you would think. You both hire attorneys that are experienced to work cooperatively and that agree to try and settle your case. Each of you will have lawyer that is on your side, but a lot of the work is done collaboratively. Each of you will agree to disclose all the details that are necessary for fair and just negotiations, and to meet with together with both lawyers to talk about settlement. You all agree that if the divorce doesn’t settle through using a collaborative process, the original attorneys will recede, and you will hire different attorneys and take the case to trial.
What is no-fault divorce?
No-fault laws removed the need to discover fault. No-fault divorce laws give each party the opportunity to sue for divorce with just the “irreconcilable differences” claim. Born from these laws was the notion of unilateral divorce: either spouse wanting the marriage to end, could do so and was open to leave.
The courts will award a divorce by “default” when you file for divorce and there is no response from your spouse. The divorce will be awarded even though your spouse does not engage in the court proceedings at all. A default divorce may happen, for instance, when your spouse has gone away and cannot be found.
What is a legal separation?
Legal separation is much like a divorce. It includes the likewise process of filing papers within the court to begin a legal action and the court will make likewise decisions concerning children, debts and assets just like in a divorce. Nevertheless, at the finalization of the process each party is legally separated rather than being divorced. Meaning they’re still married but are no longer responsible for one another.
What happens in a divorce?
A divorces purpose is to dissolve the parties’ marriage. In order for that to happen the parties and the court need to decide how to handle the matters of custody, minor children’s placement and how to split the property and debts of each party. State laws assume each party is allowed to 1/3 of the marital property and each party is accountable for 1/2 of any marital debts. Property that is non-marital is property inherited by one party or given to only one of the parties by a 3rd person and, if it’s been kept separate it will stay with that party following the divorce.
What is marital property?
Each of the parties property is marital unless otherwise indicated. Things like pensions, financial institution accounts and stocks and/or bonds are marital property even as their held in only one of the party’s name. Property brought into the marriage is still marital eventhough depending on how long the marriage was and the make-up of the property the court may choose to grant it back to the party that had it prior to the marriage. Courts attempt to be impartial to each party and each party is obligated in making a full disclosure within the court and the other party of any assets and/ or debts.
What about spousal support?
Depending on how long the marriage lasted, the age and health of each party and each parties capability to make an income and keep the marital standard of living, the court might order alimony paid by one party to the other. This is different from child support. Alimony could be for a limited time or for an indefinite time depending on the situation. It can be examined if there is a considerable change in the situation of either ex-spouse.
Do I need an attorney to get a divorce?
Each spouse is always permitted to represent themselves in court actions. When you do, you’ll be called a “pro se litigant.” Nevertheless, when there are any critical questions that involve children, property, debts or alimony, it is a good idea to have help from an attorney. The attorney may only represent one of the spouses.
Emily Doskow, Attorney. “The Different Kinds of Divorce.” Www.divorcenet.com, Nolo, 7 Apr. 2013, www.divorcenet.com/resources/divorce/the-different-kinds-divorce.htm.
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