The number of American married couples dissolving their
marriage through divorce is consistently numerous. In fact, the National Center for Health Statistics
reports that 3.6 people out of 1000 people per capita divorced in the year 2005,
which was significantly lower than the highest American national per capita
average of 5.3 per 1000 in 1981.
Nevertheless, 2.23 million marriages occurred in 2005 according to the
United States Census Bureau. Of these
2.23 million marriages, the
Finding the proper answers on divorce and divorce related issues is all part of the healing process following the end of a marriage. Having a knowledgeable legal professional at your side during such an emotionally challenging time not only increases your chances at acquiring ideal divorce terms, but also, relieves a divorcing party of the immense burden of tackling such a legitimately confusing task alone.
In keeping with the “50/50” trend of marriages and divorce, the beginning of a divorce case starts fifty percent of the time that individuals sign marriage licenses. Prior to signing the marriage license, the first, or what should be the first, legal document involved in a divorce proceeding is the prenuptial agreement. The first mistake some couples make in regards to this issue is feeling that a prenuptial agreement is not necessary. Nothing could prove further from the truth. Contrary to media portrayals of celebrity divorces, the prenuptial agreement covers much more than just asset division during a divorce.
Actually, prenuptial agreements should cover issues such as:
Typically, courts will uphold the validity of any prenuptial agreements when written properly through the assistance of lawyers. Frivolous demands or agreements, such as those not documentable or verifiable in statistical numbers, will not be upheld and could potentially invalidate a prenuptial agreement. Lawyers can assist clients in ensuring this will not occur.
After assessing their relationship to whatever extent
necessary, couples will acknowledge their intentions to end the marriage. For some, one party will not wish to end the
marriage, while the other does.
From this point, the intentions, demands, and desires of the couples parting ways influence the type of divorce proceedings, which will occur. A divorce can prove to be an expensive and emotionally draining process, one which both parties can maintain an adversarial stance all the way to a costly and enduring family court intervention. Again, contrary to popular entertainment media fodder, this is simply not the case. In fact, 90% of divorcing couples, through the mediation and advice of lawyers, can amicably reach fair and agreeable terms without court litigation.
Some labels for the various formats of divorce include:
It is also important to note that divorce is within state-level jurisdiction, thus state laws always prove applicable in all the aforementioned types of divorce proceedings.
Considering the median length of time the average American marriage lasts is 11 years, there is plenty of time for one spouse to find fault in another spouse as grounds for divorce, however, the courts only consider specific items as grounds for an at-fault divorce.
Traditionally, the following items are grounds for an at-fault divorce proceeding:
When parties are both deemed at-fault in the ending of a marriage, the courts implement the doctrine of comparative rectitude to gauge the level of guilt in the dissolution of the marriage. Persons may choose an at-fault divorce in order to retain more assets from their spouse in the end of the marriage. Other motives for pursuing an at-fault divorce can include skipping the waiting period some states require for no-fault divorces.
Since 1985, no-fault divorces are available in all states, but as opposed to at-fault divorces, no-fault divorces require some form of physical separation prior to the actual divorce in many states. Grounds for no-fault divorces remain vague and virtually interpretable in any manner on purpose. Reasons for no-fault divorces include irreconcilable differences, incompatibility, and irremediable breakdown of a relationship.
In mediated and collaborative divorces, divorcing spouses employ the assistance, knowledge, and representation of lawyers to complete their divorce agreements. Typically, these forms of divorce prove to be much less expensive and exhaustive than court litigation. Divorcing parties will express their desires, interests, and needs through representative attorneys and collaborate to a reach an affable and amicable decision. In mediated divorces, a mediator is implemented as a liaison between the divorcing parties and their legal representation, much as if a judge would be, but without involving the family courts.
Some jurisdictions allow for simplified summary divorces, which essentially expedite the divorce process for couples.
There are certain restrictions to filing for some of these divorces including:
The most common form of divorce is the uncontested
divorce. Although estimates vary, an
average of 85% to 95% of divorces in the
If you are considering, or have started the process for getting a divorce, you should discuss your case with a local divorce lawyer.