The holidays may be the happiest time of year for many, but for couples in the U.S., the statistics look rather grim. According to a survey by a Los Angeles law firm, divorce rates among U.S. couples goes up following the holidays. In fact, their survey discovered that divorce filings rise by a third in the month of January alone. Google statistics also show that “divorce” is searched most frequently during the first two weeks of January.
What is the root cause of this trend? Mental health experts say that it could be related to a number of stresses and pressures around the holiday season. For example, the high expectations of the holidays and the subsequent let down when something goes wrong can sometimes lead to divorce. Similarly, many couples feel overwhelmed by the pressure for everything to be perfect during the holiday season, and must navigate how to spend their time. These hardships can lead to disagreements and fights, some of which may ultimately result in a divorce.
Financial stress is another significant factor. Deciding how much you should spend as a couple, disagreements over budget, or simply not having enough money can all put undue pressure on couples. To negate this pressure, it can be helpful to have a discussion on the budget before holiday shopping begins, which can help ensure disagreements at this time of year do not lead to divorce. Furthermore, talking about how you will be splitting your time as a couple during the holidays might also help to provide clarity and avoid arguments before the season arrives.
Other mental health experts say it’s common for couples, especially if they’ve already been having problems, to give up during the holidays because of the other life stresses they are experiencing. If they’ve been thinking about divorce all year, couples will sometimes file for it after the cumulative stress of the holiday season.
However, one of the most significant factors of the increased divorce rate in January? Financial stresses. Money problems are among the top three causes of divorce, according to a survey by the Institute for Divorce Financial Analysts in 2013. What’s more, depending on the state where a couple lives, there might be financial benefits to filing for divorce in the new year vs. filing at the end of the year. Incompatibility is another top cause, along with infidelity.
“For many, staying married is beneficial tax-wise,” says family law attorney Tammy Begun of Capital Family Law Group. “People are also seeking a fresh start to their life in the new year, which could explain why the divorce rate increases.” States also have various rules when it comes to filing for divorce. In California, for example, a couple must wait six months before their divorce can be finalized. In North Carolina, a couple must wait one year before they can get divorced. New Hampshire, however, has the quickest process in the nation, allowing couples to get divorced a day after filing.
Since the 1970s, the divorce rate has been on the rise in the U.S. However, divorce as a whole is now declining nationwide, according to a study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They found that from 2000 to 2018, the divorce rate dropped from 4.0 per 1000 in the year 2000, to 2.9 per 1000 in the year 2018.
To prevent a divorce from happening after the holidays, marriage counselors insist couples have honest and open communication long before the holidays begin. This can go a long way in helping each person in the relationship feel both loved and respected.
Approximately 31% of marriages end in divorce. Baby boomers born between 1957-1964 have a higher divorce rate than the average. Of those boomers married by age 46, 45% have been divorced at least once.
Second marriages have a 67% divorce rate, and 73% of third marriages end in divorce.
Divorce is a difficult decision, and the longer the divorce the harder it is to move forward. How long does a divorce take? That is the most frequent question after the decision has been made to file. The answer: That depends.
Making the Decision to File for Divorce
Once the decision has been made it must be determined whether you are going to use an attorney or file on your own. Unless you have been married short-term, have no assets and no children, this divorce lawyer is the best choice.
The divorce lawyer will negotiate the best settlement possible. They know the law and your rights. They work on getting you a settlement that preserves your portion of the assets.
What are the Steps to File for Divorce?
These steps must be properly completed by either you or your attorney. If representing yourself ignorance of the law is not an excuse for failing to follow the state law and court requirements. A divorce lawyer knows the steps and will keep your divorce moving forward.
- Complete complaint for divorce and summons. If you are filing without an attorney, the court has forms you can fill out to complete this step. If you hire an attorney, they will prepare a professional complaint.
- The spouse against whom the divorce is filed must be served. Service of the summons and complaint must be done by either personal service by a court officer or person who is not a party to the divorce, or by certified mail restricted delivery.
- File a Proof of Service with the court. This advises the court of the date the other party received service and establishes the deadline for when that spouse needs to file their answer. They must answer within 21 days of service if personally served and within 28 days if service was completed by certified mail.
After Complaint has been Served
- The responding party needs to prepare and file an Answer to Complaint for Divorce. If working without an attorney the court has forms that can be used to complete this step. If the spouse hires an attorney, then their attorney will prepare a formal answer. This is also the time when the responding spouse may file a Counter Complaint for Divorce.
- If a Counter Complaint for Divorce was filed, then an Answer to Counter Complaint for Divorce should be prepared, filed with the Court and served upon the other party. That party will then answer the counter-complaint.
The Discovery Process
- The discovery process is where both parties will be required to provide information on their assets and debt and obtain appraisals if needed. This information must be provided to the other party. This disclosure of all assets is needed to obtain a fair and equitable settlement. If the parties have lawyers, the two lawyers will handle the exchange of information and negotiate a settlement.
- The court will schedule hearings required for divorce during the course of the above events. The number of hearings may vary depending on what state you are in. In some states, you will have a pre-trial, settlement conference, and trial.
- If a settlement is reached prior to the trial, then a Pro-Confesso hearing may be scheduled. This is where the divorce is placed upon the record, the judge awards the divorce, and a Judgment of Divorce is prepared and filed with the court.
Can We Stay in the Same House While Divorcing?
That depends on your state law. Some states allow the parties to remain in the same home throughout the proceeding. The date of separation is based on when the parties stopped living as husband and wife.
Other states require the parties to be separated for a specific period of time before the divorce can be filed or completed. Some states require the parties to have separate homes for a specific period of time. South Carolina requires the parties to live separately with no sex for one year before filing.
How Long Does a Divorce Take?
There are numerous factors that affect how long your entire divorce will take. Most states have waiting periods. This is a time between when the divorce is filed and when it can be completed. It is designed to allow couples to reconsider the divorce before proceeding.
The waiting period varies by state. Louisiana and Virginia have a 6-month period with no kids, a 12-month period with kids. Michigan requires a 2-month wait with no kids, 6-months with kids. Nevada’s waiting period is 14-28 days.
The discovery period may take longer if the family has valuable assets, a business, collectible items, multiple homes, or any other possessions that require appraisals to determine their value.
If there are minor children time will be required to obtain recommendations on custody, parenting time, and child support.
If it is an amicable divorce, the settlement is usually reached easily and the divorce moves forward at a quick pace. If the parties are not agreeable on the division of assets, reaching a settlement will take longer and may require a trial.
It is always preferable to reach a settlement rather than have a judge decide how your belongings will be divided.
The judge’s docket will be a determining factor in how fast you get into court. Hearings may be delayed due to the court having a heavy caseload, requiring a longer waiting period for your court date.
If You are Thinking of Divorce or Have Been Served with Divorce Papers
Divorce is an emotional experience. You need to make sure you receive an equitable settlement. Meeting the requirements of court deadlines, negotiating a settlement, establishing child custody, support, and parenting time, and determining whether spousal support should be awarded requires time and legal knowledge.
These things need to be handled quickly and effectively. You need a legal professional who can negotiate on your behalf. After discussing your specific situation, a divorce lawyer can provide a good estimation of the question of how long does a divorce take. Protect your assets and the best interests of your children. Hire an attorney for your divorce.
Within the last ten years, the number of older couples filing for divorce has increased by 50%. While divorce can be a long and emotional process, it is the best option in some settings. If you’re in BC, Canada, you can file for a divorce, whether contested or uncontested.
The Supreme Court in BC only grants a divorce if you’ve stayed in the province for at least one year. Once you prove that your marriage is no longer tenable, you can pursue a divorce. Check this step-by-step guide on how to file for divorce in BC, Canada.
1. Resolve Marital Issues
During a typical separation, conflicts may arise. Each party might have expectations on the division of property or even child support. It would be best if you resolved such conflicts before you can present your request in a divorce court.
Make agreements with your spouse on how to go about child support. If both of you own a house and your incomes are within the same range, you can opt for 50/50 custody. That means that there won’t be payment of spousal or child support.
Once you resolve such conflicts, you can get an order for an uncontested divorce or desk order. You can also file for a contested divorce if you are still conflicting over the property, support, and parenting. However, having an agreement makes the divorce process seamless.
2. Parenting, Child Support, and Custody
The Federal Child Support Guidelines in BC are the ultimate guide in setting the appropriate amount for child support. According to the rules, the amount one pays for child support depends on the number of kids and annual income. A child support calculator will give you precise amounts you ought to contribute monthly.
You can agree on child support without seeking the court’s intervention. However, you need formal agreements to avoid future controversies. The BC child support booklet can give you comprehensive information on matters of child support.
3. Application for Spousal Support
When you file for divorce in BC, you need to get all essential details about spousal support. You could apply for spousal support if you were legally married, have a child, or have been living together for at least two years. The Divorce Act and the Family Law Act have detailed information on spousal support.
Spousal support considers the financial position of both spouses. You don’t have to face financial hardships if your partner has a stable income. The laws on spousal support ensure that spouses share any financial responsibility accordingly.
Several factors determine the amount of financial support that spouses ought to contribute. The time the couple has lived together is one of the elements. The law further examines if spouses have enough resources for self-support.
A partner’s earnings and nature of work also determine the amount one contributes or receives. Spouses can agree on spousal support without seeking a mediator or court order.
4. Financial or Property Division
When a woman divorces after she’s 50 years, the standard of living is likely to reduce to 45%. Men’s standard of living also drops by a significant percent. The financial implications surrounding a divorce make it necessary to know more about property division.
The division of property when getting a divorce in BC is clear. Family property includes investments, family homes, bank accounts, pensions, RRSPs, and insurance policies owned by spouses. A couple that has lived together for at least two years or is married legally can claim a percentage of these assets.
If you divorce in Canada, the law demands you divide the property equally. However, the property earned before marriage is not part of the family property. You only incorporate the property value that has increased during the marriage period.
In some cases, the court may order an unequal division of property. If the splitting up of property seems to disfavor one party, the court can make adjustments.
5. Get Legal Assistance
A divorce is a tedious and confusing process. If you are not familiar with divorce and family law, the process will appear more complicated. Fortunately, you can hire a divorce lawyer to help with the process.
A BC divorce lawyer will acquaint you with the laws relating to divorce in the region. You will understand more about child support and custody. The attorney will guide you on asset division.
With emotions flaring up during the divorce process, having a voice of reason in the form of a lawyer is one of the best decisions. Your lawyer will keep you focused on the big picture even when you’re losing the grip.
It would help to research widely before settling for a lawyer to represent you in court. This step will save you numerous frustrations that are common during the divorce process.
Filing for a Contested Divorce
Filing for a defended or contested divorce can be slightly different. You’ll start by submitting Form F3, which is a Notice of Family Claim. The process can become harder if a spouse files Form F4, which is a Response to Family Claim.
In a contested divorce, a lawyer is indispensable. In a situation where you fail to agree, you’ll have to wait for trial, where a judge will make the decision. This process is costly, stressful, and takes considerable time.
While some spouses take advantage of the divorce to frustrate each other, it’s not worth it. Agreeing on crucial matters will save you and your kids the emotional drain that results from a divorce. If need be, you can get a mediator before taking your differences to court.
The Process of Divorce in BC Is Clear
If you’ve been wondering how to file for divorce in BC, Canada, there you have it. Legal separation is essential, especially if you hope to remarry. The long divorce process shouldn’t deter you from presenting the case.
The number of divorce lawyers available is sufficient to give you viable options. With a divorce lawyer, the divorce process will seem more plausible. However, it would be best to resolve conflicts to make your divorce case straightforward.
Check out our online lawyer directory for a list of lawyers for all your legal needs.
If you’re getting a divorce, you aren’t going through these difficult and turbulent times alone. In fact, 39% of American couples who tie the knot get divorced somewhere along the line, and in many situations, it’s a good choice.
Especially when kids are in the picture, divorces are beneficial because keeping a child in an unhappy home can really harm their development. Still, as a father, it’s your instinct to not only want to do what’s best for your kid, but also to spend as much time raising them as possible.
What if she get full custody? This is the fear of many men going through a divorce since the sad reality is that this happens often. Luckily, you can learn how to divorce your wife properly and fight against this happening. Read on to learn how.
During the Divorce
During the process of a divorce, life will likely feel like a whirlwind of lawyers, payouts, and anxiety. However, there are ways to ensure that acting on this stress pays off. Read on to learn some steps you can take to ensure you stay active in your child’s life.
Talk With Your Lawyer
Before doing anything else, talk with your divorce attorney to get a feel for how the legalities are going. Your lawyer has more knowledge about custody laws than you do and can work with you to determine the route that your ex is likely to take in your specific situation.
Your lawyer can help you prepare your case for getting the amount of custody that you believe to be reasonable. Both inside and outside of the courtroom, your attorney will fight for your rights and those of your child.
Know Your Rights
Speaking of rights, you need to know yours. While your lawyer can help you walk through the specifics, having a basic understanding of the father’s rights in a custody battle will be of great benefit to you. When you’re equipped with this understanding, no one will be able to pull a fast one on you.
In most cases, the child’s time will be split 50/50 between the homes of the two parents or they’ll live primarily with one. In these cases, though, the child will be given liberal and frequent unsupervised visits with the parent they aren’t living with.
You have the right to see your child and fight for the former option. Remember it and ask your attorney about it specifically to learn more.
Don’t Upset Your Child
No matter what you do, parents divorcing is going to be hard on the child. This is unavoidable, but giving your child additional stress throughout the process is completely unnecessary.
No matter how tempted you may be, discussing the specifics of the divorce with your child is a poor decision. They may fear that either you or your ex-wife will no longer be able to spend time with them or that they’ll be forced to choose. Make sure that your child knows that they’re a priority for you and that any aftermath of the divorce is not their responsibility.
After the Split
Once the divorce is finalized and the fight for your rights come to an end, there are still things you’ll need to do to stay active in your child’s life. Read on to learn how to continue to do right by your beloved little one and make the process as easy as possible on both you and them.
Work Within Legal Parameters
After the custody agreement is finalized, you’re going to need to remember the specific legal parameters outlined within it. This means having a thorough understanding of your standing for custody and your rights for visitation. They’re different in every divorce, so your agreement will be different from that of your divorced friend- just an FYI.
Working within these legal parameters can be incredibly frustrating, but it’s crucial to be vigilant. If you violate them, you could lose whatever custody you have. If you only have visitation, you could also lose even more time with your child.
Spend Quality Time With Your Child
While having nothing to do with legal matters, you need to spend quality time with your child if you want to be active in their life! If you don’t, then what were you even working for?
Take your child to places they like and have meals with them. Quality and frequent one-on-one time is crucial to maintaining your place in your child’s life, especially when they’re younger and have shorter memories and attention spans.
Don’t Badmouth Mom
While there are infinite things you can do during this quality time with your child, there is one thing you should absolutely never do: badmouth your ex in front of your child. While it’s frustrating if their mom says negative things about you, there are productive ways to deal with this that don’t involve retaliation.
Tit-for-tat badmouthing will stress your child out quite a bit because they may feel the need to take sides. It can also upset your ex, making things less amicable than they could be (and thus more difficult on everyone.)
Keep a Lawyer on Hand
While you don’t need to have your lawyer on speed-dial for the rest of your life or anything, it’s good to keep their number handy.
If anything happens and you feel as though your ex is violating the custody agreement, you’ll need to call the attorney in. If you’re worried that your ex is mistreating your child, you definitely need that number. Just make sure that you have someone to call who understands the law and can help no matter what comes in the future.
More on How to Divorce Your Wife Properly
While divorcing your wife can be a scary prospect because you don’t want to lose your children, there are ways you can fight against their being taken from you. You have a right to spend time with your kids- don’t let anyone take it from you.
Now that you know how to divorce your wife in a way that does right by your children, it’s time to look into the legalities of doing so a little further. Please check out the rest of our site. We’ll give you sound legal advice on any specific issue that you may be having.
Good luck, Dad. Remember: we’re rooting for you.
When it comes time to part ways, you can hope that you can end the relationship amicably but that isn’t always the case.
Before you start working on your divorce, let us help you with the information below. Continue reading this article as we count down to the best divorce tip you need to know.
5. Try for Mediation
Even if you’re not feeling friendly, mediation can make your life a lot easier. You won’t have to go to court hearings and rehash the past or tear each other apart.
When you work with a mediator, they are not on your side or the opposing party’s side. A mediator’s goal is to get everyone to come to an agreement that they can be happy about without having to go to court and use lawyers.
4. Avoid Sleeping With Your Lawyer
If you do find that mediation isn’t an option, you might need to look into a lawyer.
Whether you’re looking for divorce lawyers for men or women, there are many reputable firms that can help you as you’re working to get the outcome you desire.
But don’t make the mistake of sleeping with your lawyer. You’re going through an emotional time but you need to keep this relationship professional. If you don’t keep this relationship professional, it could hurt your case.
3. Don’t Cause Family Division
When you’re splitting your household, it is easy to cause division — even when the kids are grown. Your children and grandchildren are used to visiting both of you together but when you can’t make it work anymore, there are going to be some changes.
Make those changes as smooth as possible and don’t encourage division. Don’t say bad things about your ex or make people feel like they need to choose sides.
2. Don’t Settle If You’re Not Satisfied
You may be ready to get your divorce over with and just want to say — have it! But you need to think about your financial future.
As a senior, you have upcoming medical expenses, housing and other things that you need to think about. Don’t settle simply because you can’t stand to go through the battling anymore.
1. Don’t Forget to Change Your Will
And for divorce tip number one, make sure you don’t forget to change your will. You’ve likely got your ex in your will as the sole beneficiary and you want to make sure the person you really want to have your things is listed vs. your ex.
Which Divorce Tip Spoke to You?
Now that you’ve read our number one divorce tip, is this the tip that made the most difference for you? Maybe one of the other tips spoke to you more and will help you as you navigate these murky waters.
Do you need more help on legal matters? Our site is full of legal articles on various topics that can help you navigate through the legal system.
Browse our site, find your favorite section, drop a bookmark and come back soon for more great reads.
Dealing with divorce is challenging, both emotionally and logistically. It’s important to choose a lawyer who has your best interest in mind and who can provide you with expert legal advice at a price that works for you.
Every attorney has their own set of philosophies, practices, and approaches to divorce. Some lawyers may be skilled in some law practices, but not so skilled in others. Some lawyers are excellent in court, but don’t do well in collaborative divorces.
Some divorce lawyers are skilled at sorting out financial issues, whereas other lawyers are better with high-conflict divorces.
Here are some tips for choosing the right lawyer:
1. Look for a Mix of Services
Divorce lawyers should have a range of services. When you compare practices, make sure that they specialize in contested/uncontested divorces, irreconcilable adultery, etc.
This shows you that the attorneys practice various areas of the law and have the potential to defend you in your case.
2. Decide on the Divorce Process You Want to Use
Before you can get started with your divorce, you need to decide whether you want to use:
- Collaborative divorce
You should match the attorney that you choose with the type that you are looking for.
3. Choose the Right Type of Legal Service
The type of legal service that you need depends on your marriage situation.
You might want to choose a big law firm if you:
- Have a lot of assets
- Own a company or several businesses
- Have a complicated financial situation
If you aren’t able to get a big law firm, you should at least choose an attorney who understands finances.
If your marriage was short and you don’t have any kids, real estate, or other shared assets, a big law firm is a waste.
4. Know your Budget
Attorneys can be expensive if you don’t do extensive research before making your decision. While you should be selective about the attorney that you choose, you also need to manage your expectations and choose a lawyer that you can afford.
5. Do Smart Research
Every attorney’s website should clearly state their philosophy. If a lawyer says something like, “I’ll fight for your rights,” they are probably a trial lawyer. If an attorney says that they can help you stay out of court, they are probably best for collaborative divorce.
Don’t just pay attention to the law offices that have the nicest websites or the biggest advertising budgets. The best lawyer for you is the one that understands your specific needs. On the other hand, you should still make sure that the firm you are considering has an updated website.
6. Don’t Rely on Ratings Alone
Lawyer rating agencies are not an end-all-be-all. Some firms choose not to advertise or collaborate with rating agencies, so they may be rated poorly, regardless of how good of a firm they may be.
In some states, firms aren’t allowed to participate in rating websites. They may have bad ratings for that reason alone.
7. Interview Several Lawyers Before Making a Choice
You shouldn’t choose the first attorney that you interview. You should consult with at least 2 or 3 different practices before you make a choice. All attorneys offer different perspectives. The only way to ensure that you are making the right decision is to explore your options.
While your situation is the same no matter who you meet with, their approach to your case may be drastically different. When you’ve met with a few candidates, choose the one whose approach you identify with the most.
Of all the issues surrounding a divorce, choosing the right attorney might not be the first one you think of, but it probably should be. A good attorney cannot just help you through what might be a complex legal process, but the right one can save you time and money, and help you avoid what can easily become a long, drawn-out financial and emotional nightmare. Knowing what to look for in a divorce attorney is the key to finding the best one for your situation. In this short article, we’ll take a closer look at the issues involved with choosing the right one.
Understand the Process
The first thing to realize about divorce attorneys is that their role is to represent you and your interests in the dissolution of assets and custody concerns–and nothing else. As much as you might want your attorney to sympathize with you, and listen to your frustration and anger, that simply is not their job. Attorneys charge top dollar for their time, and if you rant to them about the horrors of your soon-to-be ex, you’re liable to run up legal bills way out of proportion with the actual legal services provided. You’ll be much better off emotionally and financially if you save those sorts of conversations for your therapist.
The earlier in the process you can begin to look for a divorce attorney, the better. If you wait until you’re in a high-pressure situation and you just want everything to be taken care of quickly, or even worse, if you wait until you’re served with papers, you’re likely to choose an attorney based on who is available, and not who might best represent you. Also, if your spouse has already secured counsel, no lawyer from that firm can represent you due to potential conflict of interest.
Before hiring any divorce attorney, consider alternatives to traditional divorce–actual litigation should be the last resort. For couples with no children and simple finances, you may be able to hire a mediator to help you negotiate the terms of the divorce settlement and completely avoid hiring an attorney. Another alternative is a collaborative divorce, a negotiated settlement with the end goal of a collaborative co-parenting relationship. If neither side is willing to compromise and litigation is inevitable, remember that divorce attorneys have varied areas of expertise, and will try to guide you toward their specialty. Be sure to know what you want before you talk to an attorney so you can make an informed choice.
Remember Your Goal
The ultimate goal in any divorce process is simple: finalizing the divorce with as little financial damage as possible. Your attorney should help you reach your goal in a timely fashion, but you’ve got to stay on target. Try to limit your emotional reactions when it comes to negotiating over things that might not be as important to you in the big picture. By staying focused on getting the divorce over and done with quickly, your lawyer can help you avoid both the costs and emotional damage of lengthy litigation.
Do Your Research
Before hiring an attorney, you’ll want to know who you’re dealing with. The best way to start is with a simple phone call, asking about the kinds of clients they typically represent. Be sure to ask about rates up front. Most divorce lawyers will require a retainer in addition to their hourly rate, and some will base their fees on what sort of settlement is anticipated. If a lawyer is more expensive than you can afford, don’t waste your time on them, even if they offer a ‘free consultation.’ If they do fall in your price range, take them up on the free consultation, and keep looking. You should meet with at least three lawyers before making any final decision.
Ask about the attorney’s track record in court, even if you have no intentions of going to trial. Their record in trials is a good indicator of their success record in negotiated settlements. You should also inquire about his or her access to financial experts, forensic appraisers, and parenting coordinators. In the event that these sorts of experts are needed, an attorney who can secure them easily can save substantial amounts of time and money.
Beware of Promises
If an attorney promises you anything, you should probably look elsewhere. Remember that while your divorce is the most important thing to you at this point in your life, to an attorney, it’s just business, and some may be likely to tell you what you want to hear in order to get hired. Also beware of an attorney who divulges any details from other cases, like high-profile clients or big settlements. If they’re willing to do that to get your business, they’re likely to use you in the same way. Finally, make sure any attorney you choose is respectful and attentive during your meeting. If he or she is easily distracted by emails or their phone, they’re likely to be unable to focus on your needs.
Your Final Choice
After you’ve evaluated your own needs, and spoken with at least three potential attorneys, you’ll need to make a decision. You should choose someone you’re comfortable with, an attorney who is professional, well spoken, and has earned your trust. Make sure that whoever you choose to represent you is local to your area, and knows the local court system well. If there are children involved in the proceedings, make sure your attorney has their best interest at heart. Any attorney who advocates for unreasonable custody agreements or child support demands should be avoided at all costs. Children can be used as ‘bargaining chips’ in particularly nasty cases, so make sure you and your attorney are in agreement about how to handle the needs of the kids.
Divorce is never easy, even in the simplest of cases. It’s a deeply personal and emotional undertaking, and the end results can affect your life, and the life of your children, forever. Choosing the right divorce attorney is an important decision, but if you’re aware of the potential pitfalls and keep the important issues at the forefront, you’ll likely find one who represents your best interests.
One final thing to consider: when addressing the costs of hiring a divorce attorney, don’t forget about your bridal jewelry. Selling your engagement ring and old jewelry can be a particularly poetic and satisfying way to pay for divorce lawyer. And today, a seller has lots of options: from estate jewelry stores and direct diamond buyers to auctions and online consignment shops.
No one goes into a marriage anticipating its ending. And yet, a huge portion of marriages end in divorce regardless. Happily ever after is clearly harder to come by than most of us assume. Marriage is not something to be taken lightly.
If you’re reaching the end of your days in a happy union, it’s important to really understand the ins and outs of divorce. Splitting up a marriage is not as simple as calling it quits and moving on — it can be really, very complicated. Understanding the difference between a contested divorce and an uncontested one is key to moving forward.
But what is the difference, and how can it impact your divorce and the rest of your life? You may be surprised just how far the ripples of your uncoupling can go. Read on and we’ll walk you through what you need to know.
What Is a Contested Divorce?
All divorces are difficult but some divorces are even more difficult to navigate than others. If two spouses can’t see eye to eye on the terms of a divorce, things can quickly get ugly and difficult.
That’s where things come into play with a contested divorce. A contested divorce is when the two parties in a marriage can’t come to an agreement on certain aspects of their divorce proceedings. They may have disagreements about how child custody will be awarded, or about how certain assets will be split up.
A contested divorce can get ugly because the spouses will have to go to court to sort out their differences. At the end of the day, a judge will be responsible for making the final decision in the case. This can be very hard to swallow for one or both spouses, especially if a child is involved.
Contested divorces take a lot longer than uncontested divorces. Cases need to be built, evidence gathered, and the whole process needs to be filed through the slow steps of bureaucracy. There are more steps, more stress, and more legal fees to go around on both sides.
In a contested divorce, attorneys will have to go through a divorce discovery process that may even include bringing in friends and family members as witnesses. Settlement negotiations can go on for weeks or months before an actual trial date is decided upon.
The whole process can be very long, and very painful. It can also be very complicated, which is why both spouses typically enlist the help of a divorce attorney to help walk them through the many steps and big piles of paperwork.
How a Contested Divorce Plays Out
If you don’t think you’ll be able to see eye-to-eye with your spouse, you may have a contested divorce case in your future. Understanding the various steps in this kind of case can help to ensure that you’re prepared for the worst.
Meeting with an Attorney
If you’re the one bringing the divorce forward, you’ll want to be meeting with an attorney before officially bringing the divorce to your spouse. This gives you a large amount of time to interview different attorneys and find the one that feels best suited for your case.
During your interview with various attorneys, talk about the areas of the divorce that you are worried about. Do you share children or assets you think might be taken away from you? See what experience an attorney has in dealing with these situations.
Serve a Divorce Petition to Your Spouse
Once you’ve ironed everything out with a lawyer you trust, it’s time to start the divorce proceedings. In order to do that, you’ll need to serve divorce papers to your spouse.
You can serve these papers yourself or have a local police sheriff do it for you. In most cases, it is not your legal responsibility to serve these papers, but many spouses who still live with their partners find it easier.
If your spouse cannot be located a notice may be published in a local newspaper. Once served, your spouse will have thirty days to respond to the petition. If your spouse does not respond, you may receive a default judgment from the court in your favor.
The Discovery Period
The most painful and difficult part of a contested divorce might be the discovery period. This is when attorneys move in to help uncover as much evidence about the opposing part as possible. That means financial information, as well as personal wrongdoings, are on the table for discussion.
Friends and family may be brought in to answer questions and may feel like they are pressured to choose a side. Documents will be requested from each side and must be relinquished within a reasonable time.
Settlement Attempts and a Move to Trial
Following discovery, the two sides will attempt to come to a resolution based on the gathered evidence. Each side will attempt to broker a deal that serves as a compromise but still keeps their client’s best interested in mind.
These mediations will be based on the strength of evidence found in the discovery stage. Often, a settlement will not be reached. In this situation, the case will need to move to court, where a judge will make a decision based on the evidence presented.
After the trial is over, the spouses will need to sign agreements and fall in line with a judge’s orders.
Fighting for Your Rights in a Divorce
Working through a contested divorce can be one of the most difficult times in one’s life. Understanding the process ahead of time can help a great deal.
Need more legal advice? Check out our blog for more.
About 33% of marriages in the US end up in divorce, according to recent statistics. In 2017, nearly 800,000 people got divorced. If you’re seeking a divorce in Colorado, know that you’re not alone.
Before you seek a divorce, there are some things you should know. These 7 things will help you to understand the divorce process in Colorado and what to expect.
Keep reading to learn more about Colorado divorce law and your situation.
1. Residency Requirements
If you want to file for divorce in Colorado, you have to meet strict residency requirements. Either you or your spouse must meet the requirements to prove that Colorado has jurisdiction over your case.
- one party has to live in the state for 90 days preceding the filing
- can be filed in the county where either the petitioner (person filing) or respondent (spouse) lives
If these requirements are met, then the state has jurisdiction over your divorce and the petition for a dissolution of marriage can proceed.
2. Grounds for Divorce
Colorado is a “no-fault” divorce state. This means that they do not consider misconduct (such as adultery) by either party when deciding whether to grant a divorce. This also applies to the decision to award alimony and the division of property.
The grounds for divorce in Colorado is referred to as the “irretrievable breakdown” of the marriage, which basically means that the couple can’t get along and remain married. There’s no consideration of why the marriage breaks down or if there is a person at fault.
3. Division of Property
Since Colorado is a no-fault state, they use a system of equitable distribution of property. This means that anything that is considered marital property is divided equitably between the spouses. Marital property includes any property acquired after the marriage.
It does not include the following:
- property that was acquired before the marriage and traded for payment or other property after the marriage
- anything acquired after a legal separation
- anything excluded by a valid legal agreement (e.g., a postnuptial agreement)
It’s important to note that equitable doesn’t necessarily mean equal though. To determine an equitable distribution, the court will consider things such as:
- the contributions of each spouse to the acquisition of the marital property (including contributions of a spouse as a homemaker)
- the value of the property unique to each spouse
- the economic circumstances of each party after the property is divided
It is recommended that the parties try to come to an agreement on the division of property so the courts do not have to.
4. Child Custody
If divorcing parents can agree on child custody, they may do so and the courts do not have to issue a ruling. Many parents will share joint legal custody, which means they share decision-making authority and work out physical custody arrangements that best suit their needs.
If they can’t agree, the courts will have to get involved. Most often, the courts will require divorcing parents to go to mediation, where a mediator will help them work out a parenting plan. If they still can’t agree, a judge will determine the physical and legal custody of the child or children.
The primary consideration is always the best interest of the child.
5. Child Support
Child support is typically calculated using the parent’s income as well as the time they spend with the children. Both parents have a financial responsibility to support the children.
The courts use guidelines to determine child support, and this continues until the child reaches the age of 18. It can be modified only if there is a major change, such as loss of income or gaining physical custody of the child.
Alimony, or spousal support, is not automatic in all divorces. This is something determined on a case-by-case basis, and it depends on a number of different things. The courts will consider the following:
- the financial resources of the spouse asking for support
- the time it would take for the spouse seeking support to find appropriate employment
- the standard of living that was established while the couple was still married
- how long the marriage lasted
- the age of the spouse seeking support
- the ability of the other spouse (the one being asked to provide the support) to meet his or her own financial needs
The courts will also determine how long the spousal support will last.
7. Hiring an Attorney
Although hiring an attorney isn’t necessary to file for divorce, it is a good idea to consult with one who has expertise in this area. There are many things to consider when getting divorced, and an attorney will often think of things that you or your spouse haven’t.
A knowledgeable attorney fights for your best interests. It is also a good idea to consider hiring an attorney if you have children and you and your spouse are unable to come to an agreement on custody or support.
An attorney will have the best interests of your child in mind, and help you achieve an outcome that is preferable. They will also be able to help you understand what kind of spousal support you may be entitled to, and represent you during the court process.
Colorado Divorce Law and You: All That You Need to Know
Colorado divorce law doesn’t need to be complicated, but you should be sure you do your homework before filing for divorce. Make sure you meet the residency requirements or else the courts won’t even have jurisdiction over your case.
For more information on other legal topics, explore some of the other areas of our site.
Property matters a lot to the law. Looking back in history, you will find many laws about inheritance and marriage started specifically to handle property. To keep your hard-earned assets from defaulting into the void, it pays to know how property is defined and distributed.
This may seem secondary when so many fear to ask what happens in a divorce simply because they don’t want to jinx themselves. It’s one of the categories where ignorance is considered a virtue over being forewarned and forearmed.
Whether you are researching for your own needs or looking to help someone out, this article will answer the pertinent questions. Rest assured, understanding how and why these decisions get made is worthwhile.
What Happens in a Divorce
A lot of turmoil erupts when two people decide to separate their lives. The longer they’ve been together, the more there is to unravel. Even an amicable separation can take months to process through the legal matter of property.
It’s no wonder that divorce ranks as the second most stressful event a person encounters. There are three distinct periods of time that one passes through during a divorce.
A divorce starts with a petition filed with a court. Next is the meditation period, where the couple attempts to separate through the property and other issues that need to get sorted with the dissolution of the marriage. Finally, there is the matter of temporary injunctions and living arrangements decided during the proceedings.
One spouse files the divorce petition that officials serve to the other. This divorce petition starts the claim of property. In it, the spouse lists the two parties, any children, and makes claims about shared property and community property.
First-round offers of spousal support are also listed including who will pay such. The petition needs to be served to be legal, this requires an official acknowledgment of receipt from the other spouse.
The other spouse creates a response that either agrees with the terms laid out in the petition or refutes them. States have different periods necessary for a divorce to get completed and this timeline starts when the respondent receives the petition.
If the respondent agrees with the petitioner, then the division of property follows the information in the petition.
Because it’s possible for even well-meaning couples to not list everything that needs to get considered in the divorce, it’s best to get legal help for drafting the petition and doing a full accounting of assets.
If the respondent refutes the petitioner, then a period of meditation begins. If no compromise can get found, one spouse may then sue the other for divorce which puts the matter of property into the Court’s hands.
A divorce petition is a legal agreement much like a marriage contract or prenuptial agreement. When amicable, the State does it’s best to honor the wishes of the two parties.
Even so, not everything can be easily handled as property comes in multiple varieties defined here.
This is property that was earned during the course of the marriage. Debt, wages, and items purchased during the marriage all count for community property.
This is property that either predates the marriage or was awarded to one spouse or the other during the marriage. This covers items such as inheritances, gifts, and pensions vested before the marriage.
In the case of a house, if it was purchased before the marriage it remains the separate property of the original buyer. For something like a business, the business itself remains with the original owner but proceeds from the business is considered community.
This designation comes into play when no documentation of the original owner exists. Otherwise, if partial funds from both parties were used. These mixed origin properties are considered community property.
For example, a spouse sells their original solely owned home to buy a community home.
While the divorce proceeds, whether amicable or not, the couple is considered separated and accommodations must be made for the maintenance of all parties.
The primary caretaker, the spouse that spends the most time with the children, typically stays in the house. If no children are involved, the primary owner of the property can ask the other to leave or get removed.
If neither party has more claim to the property or more caretaker stake, they have no legal recourse to remove the other.
Injunctions are often filed to provide temporary funds and custodianship during this time to keep things as smooth as possible during the transition processes.
How property is divided when one party sues for divorce changes based on the state. To ensure you get what you need after a divorce, it pays to contact a lawyer inside your state.
Most states aim for equitable distribution. This guideline seeks to provide both parties with a monetary value of the property that is roughly equal and fair to both parties.
Property doesn’t always need to be liquidated for this to happen. Documentation providing joint and equal ownership of a business, piece of land, assets, or debts can all get arranged.
In some states, community property gets split under the tenents of equitable distribution but separate property reverts.
This means that couples leave with everything they came to the marriage with, and only that which was built during the marriage gets split.
The exact specifics of what happens in a divorce come down to how mediation and negotiation play out. Barring that, the temperament of a judge in an in-court divorce proceeding.
This article provides the broad strokes to look out for when making decisions about how to proceed. Whenever you need legal advice, look to our lists of lawyers near you that can help.