Divorce proceedings vary by state and the specific circumstances of your marriage and separation, but the basic divorce steps are relatively similar on a case-to-case basis. Generally, divorce proceedings begin when one spouse files a complaint and the other spouse “answers” the complaint and / or files a counterclaim.
Anatomy of a divorce
Understanding the divorce process is critical to protecting your rights and interests and avoiding potential conflicts before they arise.
By consulting with an experienced and reputable divorce lawyer, familiarizing yourself with the divorce process, and setting your goals and objectives, it is absolutely possible that your divorce will go smoothly and end well for everyone involved. While it’s rarely fun and easy, divorce doesn’t have to be painful.
After the first documents are filed, the “discovery” part of the divorce begins. During the investigative process, both spouses provide financial details and other information that must be shared in the context of a divorce. Discovery is also when both parties decide whether or not spousal or child support is to be paid and how the marital property is to be divided.
Couples getting divorced usually have to decide on a few key questions before they can resolve the divorce and get on with their lives. These problems often include the division of marital property, such as: B. the family home, other real estate, vehicles, retirement accounts, and other common assets; whether spousal support (maintenance) and / or child support should be paid by one spouse; and custody arrangements.
Division of property
Divorce focuses on the division of marital property acquired by one or both spouses during the marriage. The division of assets is handled slightly differently depending on the federal state, type of asset, type of acquisition (inheritance, before or during the marriage) and other factors. There are significant gray areas when it comes to the division of property in a divorce, so it is in your best interests to consult a divorce attorney in your state before proceeding.
Child custody and support
Child custody and child support are a common focus of child divorce. In general, it is in the child’s best interests to spend time with both parents, so joint custody is typical. Joint custody can be a 50/50 split, or one parent can have sole custody while the other has the children on the weekend or on another agreed schedule.
It’s important to note that custody can be both physical and legal. While custody refers to the time spent with each parent, legal custody refers to how the parents decide on important issues such as the child’s education, religious upbringing, and health care. It is possible to split both physical and legal custody 50/50 or make some other arrangement.
In most cases, the parent with the greater share of custody or the lower income receives maintenance payments from the other parent. If there is a disagreement about physical or legal custody or the child benefit scheme, do not panic. These issues can often be resolved without going to court, through mediation, or some other form of pre-trial resolution. Having an experienced lawyer by your side can be of great help with such concerns.
When an examination becomes necessary
If both parties agree on the most important issues – a division of property, custody and spousal support – the divorce can likely be resolved without going to court. However, if there is a disagreement on an important issue, a process may be required. At the trial, both spouses can produce evidence to support their position on property sharing, child support and child support, and custody. You can also name witnesses and testify on relevant issues.
Litigation doesn’t automatically mean your divorce has to be messy and expensive. One of the main reasons complicated divorces take an ugly turn is because emotions often run high and emotional decisions are rarely good. Having an experienced, knowledgeable, and compassionate divorce lawyer by your side will improve your ability to make clear, practical decisions based on your best interests, not emotions.
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