Divorce can be a painful and traumatic experience not only for the couples involved but also for their family and friends.
If you are planning to file for a divorce, make sure to read these questions first.
According to statistics, about half of marriages in the United States end up in divorce. The most common reasons for divorce include infidelity, abuse, indifferences, and constant misunderstandings and arguments. Sure, all marriages go through rough patches.
But when two married people can no longer handle the bad things that are going on around them, it results in separation and eventually, divorce. Today, we are going to talk about some of the common questions asked about divorce and other things that pertain to legal family matters.
Six Common Divorce Questions and Answers
1. Who are divorce lawyers?
Divorce lawyers are family lawyers who deal with family issues and domestic relations. They represent clients in court with family issues like divorce, adoption, child custody, child support, and spousal support, to name a few. A family lawyer is likewise authorized to draft pre-nuptial and post-nuptial agreements.
2. How much does divorce cost?
The cost of divorce is dependent on a few factors. Some of these factors include the complexity of the case, and where you file the divorce (court fees differ from state to state). Based on the 2011 survey on the legal fees for cases involving divorce, the cost can range from $1,006 to $74,122. An uncontested divorce can cost $1,006 to $ 2,547 while a contested divorce can cost $7,208 to $74,122.
In addition to these costs, you still have to pay for the disbursements which include the process serving and court filing cost. Not to mention the add-ons like appraisals, domestic specials, discoveries, mediation, and financial audits which can all cost up to hundreds or thousands of dollars. And if you hire a lawyer, you will have to pay for the service rendered – emails, phone calls, consultation, and photocopying, among others.
3. How long does a divorce process take?
The time for the divorce process greatly depends on the complexity of the case or the situation of the couples. For instance, cases involving short-term marriages or couples without children, properties, and marital debt and assets are less lengthy, less stressful, less expensive, and less complicated than those cases that involve long term marriages or marital properties, debts, assets, and children.
How long the divorce can take also depends on whether the couples agree on terms. Divorce cases where the couples disagree on many terms (spousal support, child custody, and division of assets, properties, and debts) usually takes a long, drawn-out process.
4. Who is qualified to file a divorce?
First and foremost, you and your spouse should be legally married in order for you to get qualified for a divorce. If you are not legally married, or if you are just living together without being legally tied, the divorce action will not apply to you. And so, you are not qualified for a divorce even if you have been into such a living set up for decades already.
To qualify and be eligible for divorce, you need to meet the following criteria:
- You and/or your spouse must be living in the state where you intend to file a divorce for at least a year before the application.
- You have been living separately already and you no longer think it is possible for you and your spouse to live together again under one roof as husband and wife, and thus you want to permanently and legally separate from each other.
5. What are the most common reasons for divorce?
There are many reasons why couples decide to legally part ways. Some of the common reasons for divorce include:
- Not being prepared for marriage or new responsibilities
- Extramarital affairs or infidelity
- Financial struggles
- Communication issues
- Constant arguing
- Lack of equality
- Getting less physically attracted to the other spouse
- Too high or unrealistic expectations
- Lack of emotional or physical intimacy
- Abuse – physical, emotional, and/or verbal abuse
- Growing apart
5. What are the legal grounds for divorce?
While there are many reasons why couples who vowed to love each other and live together in sickness and in health, in richer and in poorer, and for better and for worst decide to end their marital union, the law acknowledges only a few legal grounds for divorce. These grounds include:
- Unreasonable behavior – mental disorders, harassment, bullying, violent tendencies or cruelty, and abuse.
- Adultery or infidelity – one or both spouses committed adultery and forgiveness or giving another chance is not an option.
- Dissertation – one spouse has left and lost contact for over 5 years and not showing any sign or intention of going back home.
- Separation with consent – couples that agreed to live separately for two years or more and consider their relationship as over and done.
- Separation without consent – a couple living separately for five years or more.
The process does not only stop with the divorce itself. There are many more considerations that need to be carefully handled as well. These include division of marital properties, debts, and financial assets, child custody, and spousal support or alimony. All these matters greatly impact the divorce process. For a less stressful and less complicated process, it is better for ex-couples to come up with a fair and amicable agreement. Disagreements only lead to a more lengthy and complicated process and further problems.
Deciding whether you get a divorce or not and going through the entire process will not only cause you emotional, physical, and mental struggles, but they can also put your financial status at stake. So before you enter the battleground, make sure to prepare yourself first. It is also important to compile all the pieces of evidence and documents that will support your claim before you file a divorce or even before visiting a family law office.