Divorce – I Do. Never Mind!
A divorce, or a decree of ‘dissolution of marriage’ is a court terminating an existing marriage. This is in contrast to an annulment, which states that a marriage never existed.
The main issues to settle are the division of property, child custody and visitation, and child or spousal support. You want to make sure and thoroughly research these areas so you protect yourself through the process.
The first thing I would recommend is using a divorce attorney. They have filed numerous divorces and have been through the process several times, so they will know tricks and strategies to use. You don’t want to defend yourself because although it will be cheaper, you may miss some things that could end up costing you more in the long run.
That being said, it is still important to do your research, because you don’t want to be completely at the mercy of your attorney either. You may be able to come up with additional ideas that he/she couldn’t come up with because of your research. You also want to question your attorney through the process ensuring that you get what you are due in the divorce.
There are many reasons to get a divorce, and different states have different laws pertaining to what constitutes a divorce. Some states allow you to just do it while others are stricter on the ‘grounds’ for the divorce. They claim you have to have proper ‘grounds’ for divorce. Again, check with your local state laws to find the applicable law for your state. If your state won’t allow the divorce stating that the ‘grounds’ aren’t serious enough, one idea is to change residency to a more liberal state and file for divorce there. A divorce decree in one state is honored in all states.
A divorce can be either a fault divorce or a no-fault divorce. A no-fault divorce is a divorce in which both sides agree on irreconcilable differences and no 1 person gets the blame for the divorce not working. A fault divorce cites one of the parties as the one responsible for the failure of the marriage.
A divorce can take anywhere from a month to years, depending on the complexity of the issues at hand. Battles over child custody can take several years to decide. Other factors that determine length are whether the divorce is a fault/no-fault divorce, the efficiency of the court, size of estate to be split up, how agreeable you and your soon to be ex spouse are, the extent of agreements you had before the marriage, and child custody/support issues.
Divorce is no joke, in some cases it’s the hardest thing one will go through in life. Having a smooth divorce process can make things easier on yourself, ex-spouse, children, other family, and also help you get on the right track to find your next spouse, assuming you haven’t decided you will never get married again.
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