Research has shown that about half of all marriages in the U.S. end in divorce. If you are involved in the process of separation from your spouse, you will need the help of a divorce attorney to make sure you understand what your rights and obligations are during the process of your divorce and after your divorce is finalized. An experienced divorce attorney is able to advise and guide you in this uncertain and bewildering time. A qualified divorce attorney will not only provide divorce help but also offer guidance and answer any questions you or your family may have as to the best way to proceed with your individual divorce case.
There are two basic types of divorce, “fault,” and, “no fault.” In a fault divorce, one spouse petitions for divorce with or without the consent of the other spouse. Usually a fault divorce is filed because of the wrongdoings, indiscretions, or otherwise neglectful actions of one spouse. Reasons for a fault divorce can include cruelty, adultery, insanity, abandonment, imprisonment, etc. In a no fault divorce, neither spouse has to prove transgression by the other spouse. Grounds for a no fault divorce can include the statement of incompatibility by the filing spouse. The terminology is specific to each state but the definition is the same, an incompatible couple or the breakdown of the marriage. Some states require the couple to be separated for a specified period before a no fault divorce is granted. Depending on the state, the period of separation can be as long as two years. A couple may agree to have no fault divorces, but that does not mean that they do not have other issues to sort out. The couple may still have to settle legal disputes over the distribution of property, shared debt, child custody, child support, mainatanice, and/or alimony.
The divorcing couple may draw up a settlement agreement listing all the assets the couple owns, all debts incurred by the couple, and any special request of each and present it to the court. If the couple cannot come to agreement, the court will ask to see a detailed and itemized list of assets that includes the current market value of each asset as well as a list of debts. Based on the lists provided to the court, the judge will decide on a fair and equitable distribution of both debt and assets.
Other issues that can cause difficulty or even a stalemate in divorce proceedings may include:
These are all serious and splintering issues that can cause problems and may even create an impasse in any divorce proceedings. A qualified divorce attorney will make sure that any settlement agreement is reasonable and just. He/she will make sure that your best interest are being served.