Marriage is one of the oldest and most universal institutions in the entire world, and it is designed to unite a man and woman into a single household that will raise children. Some nations today also recognize same-sex marriage, and same-sex households are known for adopting children. But today, the rate of divorce is fairly high, and there are many reasons why a spouse may file divorce forms and hire divorce lawyers, family attorneys, or child custody lawyers. In more minor divorces, these divorce forms may come with a divorce mediator, when a lawyer may not be needed. What should a spouse know about divorce before they fill out those divorce forms? There is more than one way to handle a divorce.
Why Divorce Happens
Today, it is estimated that around 40% of all marriages end in divorce, and studies are carefully tracking how often Americans both marry and file for divorce. Among the most common reasons for divorce, infidelity is the most frequent, when one spouse is unfaithful to the other and is caught somehow. This can deal a serious emotional blow, and if marriage counseling cannot help fix the situation, then a legal separation or even divorce forms may be next. Meanwhile, abuse will also strain a household and possibly lead to divorce, where that domestic abuse may be violent, verbal, or even sexual in nature. In other divorce cases, one of the spouses is abusing drugs or alcohol, and substance abuse may cause the abuser to lose their job, spend all their savings, or become abusive toward their family.
Not all divorces are so dramatic, however. It is also common for Americans to get a divorce simply because they realize that they have no personal compatibility, and they may have very different spending habits or lifestyles. It is also possible that they simply fell out of love, which is known to happen. Often, these minor divorces may require only divorce mediators rather than lawyers, though every case is different.
Hiring Divorce Lawyers
If a spouse is determined to file divorce forms and end their marriage, they may start by looking up local divorce law firms and consult the attorneys working there (this may or may not incur a fee). Now, the spouse may file for divorce, and they will use their lawyer to represent their interests and use the law to advance their case. The other spouse may very well hire a divorce lawyer of their own, and the two spouses may fight over the divorce’s terms through their respective attorneys. In cases where one spouse was abusive toward others, the abused one may relocate to to a private residence for the duration of the divorce and only contact their spouse through their lawyer. That spouse might also take any children in the household with them.
The two lawyers may face each other in court, and they may battle over assets such as a house or vacation home, a car or RV, or even a privately owned business, family heirlooms, and bank accounts. The terms of the divorce may be negotiated as well, such as who will live where. If children under 18 years old are in the divorcing household, the parents may hire child custody lawyers to determine where the children will live, as well as terms such as alimony payments and other child support costs. Nothing can be guaranteed here, but a parent might be more likely to win custody if they are not abusive and if they have a reliable income.
Hiring lawyers and going through court can be costly, time consuming, and public, and many divorcing spouses may not like that. And for milder divorce cases, it’s not even necessary. Instead, these divorcing spouses may negotiate the terms of their divorce on their own, though they can hire divorce mediators to oversee this affair. A mediator is a neutral third party who will not take sides, but instead help draw out constructive and helpful ideas from both spouses, and keep communication running smoothly and fairly. The spouses may settle matters such as who lives where, child custody, bank accounts, and more. The mediator will not offer their own ideas or advice unless they are asked.