Common divorce questions
Divorce, it’s an ugly word, something none of us plan for when we are getting ready for our wedding, but with close to fifty-percent of couples divorcing at some point in their lives there are some common questions that many couples ask. This blog will address the top five most frequently asked divorce questions.
1. How long will the divorce process take?
Unfortunately, because state laws vary it is tough to give one answer about how long a divorce will take. In many states if you file for a no-fault divorce you may have to live “separate and apart” for months or even years. Now after you have completed your state’s requirement you may not have to wait long after you actually file for the divorce but then the length of time it will take to complete the actual divorce process will depend on the complexity of your divorce issues, how well you and your spouse negotiate issues such as child support and spousal support, the availability of the court and the divorce lawyers.
2. How much can I expect to pay for a divorce?
Here again there is not a simply answer. The cost of the divorce can vary depending on whether it is adversarial or collaborative, how much your divorce lawyer costs, whether or not you have a lengthy battle over child custody and spousal support and how many assets need to be divided. The bottom line is that if you and your spouse are willing to work together and decide major issues outside of the courts without a divorce attorney you can save a great deal of money.
3. What if I don’t want to go to trial for my divorce?
Many couples are now using a collaborative divorce process or mediation to avoid a trial. Couples also can avoid going to trial by reconciling and avoiding a divorce completely. Talk to a marriage counselor and find out if there is a way to reconcile and save the marriage. Hire a lawyer who communicates well and is there to educate and serve you, not create more problems for you. Find a lawyer whose last resort is going to court, not their first. All of these steps can eliminate the need to go to trial.
4. How will our property be divided after a divorce?
If you and your spouse have property which is jointly owned you may be able to determine yourselves how to divide the property. If you cannot agree the courts will get involved and divide your property under one of two basic schemes: community property or equitable distribution. If you live in a community property states there will be an absolute 50-50 split of all property acquired during the “marital enterprise.”
5. Will spousal support be ordered after a divorce?
Although there is no guarantee of spousal support the court can determine whether or not it is appropriate after evaluating the needs and resources of each party. Factors the court will use to make this determination will include the income of the each spouse, their ability to earn a wage, their ages, their physical, mental and emotional health, their education levels and their current standard of living.
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