There are all sorts of things to consider when filing for divorce, so it is always best to consult with a family lawyer who you can trust. This lawyer will be responsible for handling all your legal documents before going to court, and will advocate and negotiate on your behalf so that he or she can get you the best possible settlement.
A Quick Word about Divorce Rates
The average length of first marriages that end in divorce in the United States is eight years. At a rate of one divorce about every 13 seconds, this means that approximately 19,353,568 divorce filings will have occurred during that time. Both marriage and divorce rates in North America, however, have been on a decline since 2016. Today, youngsters tend to wait longer before they tie the knot, and also stay married longer before they decide to end the marriage. Here are five things to consider when filing for divorce, and which you should talk about with your attorney.
What to Consider When Filing for a Divorce
1. How to End Your Marriage
Ask your divorce attorney about the procedures of filing for divorce. He or she will walk you through the entire process. Make sure you inform your divorce attorney about your spouse’s behavior. If your spouse has been violent or abusive toward you, or has been absent from counseling sessions or consequent court hearings, you should advise your attorney. You should also be sure to discuss any child custody and property issues.
2. Documents You Will Need to Submit
Make sure you present a valid marriage certificate to your divorce attorney. In order to file for divorce, you have to show that you are doing so due to irreconcilable matters. In addition to the marriage certificate, you will need to take care of numerous financial and legal issues before proceeding with your application to the court. If there are financial settlements involved, your attorney should review the case thoroughly to work out the best deal for you according to the divorce laws in your state. Divorce is bound to take a toll on your financials – and your stress levels.
3. The Legal Contract of Marriage
While filing for divorce, there are some matters that need to be taken into consideration – especially if there are any children or joint assets. The contract of marriage includes the spouse’s income, property, and child custody. Despite the fact that the court is required to divide the matrimonial power equally between the two individuals filing for divorce, the income of either the husband or wife will also be taken into consideration.
4. Child Custody
Among the things to consider when filing for divorce, child custody is often the most contentious issue. In matters involving child custody, filing for divorce under mediation instead of litigation might help both spouses come to an agreement under fair terms. If you settle through litigation, the court is obligated to decide the parental custody of children. The court can even allot child custody to the spouse with a weak economic background if their divorce attorney makes a good case.
Does Pet Custody Exist?
Couples whose kids are their pets should discuss pet custody with their divorce lawyer. It’s relatively new for the law to view pets as “family” rather than just another piece of property during a divorce, and only a few states (Alaska, California, and Illinois to date) have introduced pet custody laws. Unfortunately, most jurisdictions place pets in the same category as a car or a boat – particularly for a pricey, pedigreed pet. Your judge may only be interested in the financial aspects of pet ownership – who bought the pet; who pays the vet bills; who buys the food, etc. – when deciding who gets to keep your “furbaby.”
5. Property Matters
If both the parties have ownership of their marital home as joint owners, then property division will be one of the important factors to discuss with a divorce attorney. To prevent losing your property to your spouse, speak to your divorce attorney about the matters of property settlement. The court can either transfer the rights of your joint tenancy to your ex by revoking your rights, or you can fight for your property. Based on the US state you live in, you both may get a 50-50 split of any property you own together. Your divorce attorney will be able to discuss your options with you.
What If I Can’t Pay the Fee to File for Divorce?
Laws vary from state to state in the United States. If you can’t pay for the court fees or the divorce application, you will have to make an appeal to the court by completing an application for reduced fees. Your divorce attorney should be able to walk you through the court necessities including the surplus of fees required at different stages.
Deciding to Tie the Knot Again
You can remarry the person of your choice a month after your divorce. You should, however, discuss this with your attorney. They can appeal to the court and ask them for a short divorce order. This helps finalize your divorce within a month’s time, speeding up the process of remarriage. You can also file for alimony/spousal support if you don’t plan on remarrying. There are many different things to consider when filing for divorce. This is why it is crucial to hire an attorney who has your best interests in mind during this difficult and stressful time of your life. If you are filing for divorce, be sure to discuss the issues mentioned above with your attorney so that you can reach the best possible outcome.
Rachael Everly is a blogger who loves to write on topics related to Law and Justice. She also writes about finance and how to save money. She is a featured author at various authoritative blogs and is currently working at Unified Lawyers for their blog operations. www.unifiedlawyers.com.au/blog
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