Family Law

THE D WORD: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT DIVORCE

Sometimes, divorce is the only way to resolve marriage conflict.

The quest to find lifelong love often ends up inside of a court room. Filing for divorce can create serious long-term consequences that not only have a legal and emotional impact for two marriage partners, but also for children, parents and close friends. Divorce law covers a wide range of legal procedure that includes the division of joint property and the method for seeking legal separation. The divorce process is rife with legal potholes that demand the assistance of a licensed family law attorney. As the say, you do not go into a gun fight armed with a knife.

You do not file for divorce, without hiring an experienced family law lawyer.

The Main Reasons for Divorce Filings

Divorce cases have taken a turn for the better in many states. “No Fault” divorce statutes eliminate the hand wringing that accompanies trying to prove fault that causes one parent to lose complete custody of his or her children. However, some states still require proof of fault in divorce cases. Fault, or reasons for divorce, includes adultery, financial mismanagement, physical abuse, and threats of violence. Moreover, some divorce cases in states that determine fault concern the determination a marriage has dissolved to the point that there is no reasonable way to preserve the marriage.

Divorce is Not the Only Answer

The best divorce lawyers search for legal ways for marriage partners to reconcile, before filing divorce papers that starts a complex legal process. Many states offer the legal right for separations, which allows spouses to make some of the same legal decisions that they would make during divorce proceedings. The difference between divorce and separation is separation does not legally end a marriage, which allows spouses to retain their marriage status for religious and/or health care reasons. Divorce attorneys also handle annulment cases, which voids a marriage on the legal grounds that a marriage was never legally valid. Annulment cases can involve a partner that was already married, as well as a partner that was too young to marry under state law at the time.

Supporting a Spouse

Spousal support, which often goes by the legal term alimony, represents the monthly payment made by one spouse to the other spouse. Alimony always is determined after the outcome of a divorce case by a court mandate or an agreement between spouses that carries legal weight. The monthly payments made by one spouse accounts for asset and income disparities between the two spouses. Every alimony case is unique, depending on income, debt load, marriage duration, and the legal requirement to pay child support.

The Division of Property

Family law attorney Martha Bailey says the division of property during a divorce case mostly depends on whether a couple lives in a “Community Property” state. States that have community property statutes consider all of the property purchased after the filing for marriage to be equally owned by both marriage partners. Community property statutes make it much easier to reach a conclusion to a divorce proceeding. In states that do not have community property laws, the court determines who gets what in a divorce case.

The division of property in states that do not have community property statutes is just one of several reasons to hire an accomplished family law attorney that specializes in litigating divorce cases. The complexity of divorce cases, coupled with super-charged emotions, make it imperative that you hire an accomplished attorney. Contact a licensed family law attorney to schedule a free consultation. At the very least, the attorney will provide you with enough information to help you decide whether to file for divorce.

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