When Thinking of Filing for Divorce, it may be Wise to Seek Sound Legal Counsel

Posted by on Mar 9, 2017 in Divorce | 0 comments

Unlike in the past when divorce was settled only in court, divorcing couples today have options on how to end their union and settle all divorce-related issues. Unlike a court-litigated divorce (or contested divorce), these other options or alternative processes make divorce and all related issues faster to settle, besides being cheaper and amicable. The different ways of ending a marital union include:

  • Contested Divorce. Also known as court-litigated. This is the traditional process of divorce. It is settled in a family court, open to the public and can drag on for months or years depending on the number of divorce-related issues that need to be settled, such as custody of child/children, payment (and amount) of child support and/or spousal support, and division of properties, assets and debts.
  • It adversarial in nature, thus, people who sit in court witness how divorcing spouses, through their lawyers, discredit one another. Aside from a judge-settled divorce process, a contested divorce is more likely to turn spouses bitter towards one another, as well as make them feel devastated and deprived.
  • Uncontested Divorce. Besides arriving at a settlement without having to go to trial, this divorce procedure is quicker and cheaper compared to contested divorce. Uncontested divorce is a private process. It does not mean agreeing outrightly about the issues related to divorce, however, if there are disagreements regarding certain issues, then negotiations are made. The main issue about this type of divorce is, despite the disagreements and the need to negotiate, the spouses remain to be in control and are sure to get through everything.
  • Mediated Divorce or Divorce Mediation. This is also a private, out-of-court legal procedure that allows spouses to settle all divorce-related issues by themselves. A mediator, who is a neutral third party chosen by the spouses themselves, sits with them to help them reach an agreement. This mediator is not allowed to decide on the issues at hand since decisions are made by the spouses. Part of what he or she does is to make sure that the spouses are able to talk and argue openly, but in a way that will not destroy the amicable process. Though each spouse may or may not be represented by an attorney, who can help them understand the legal matters related to divorce and know if the agreement arrived at is reasonable and worth signing, compared to contested divorce, this process is still much cheaper and faster to settle.
  • Collaborative Divorce. In this divorce process, both spouses have their respective lawyers who will work cooperatively with them in settling the divorce case. This process requires both spouses to disclose all important information that will affect the divorce and all related issues – this is for fair negotiations, of course. In the event that this process does not work, each spouse will have to hire new attorneys who will take their case to the court.

Filling out a divorce form is necessary for those petitioning for divorce. Now, on one area of this form is a question that asks why divorce is being filed. States differ with regard to the basic requirement in filing for divorce. In 17 states ( California, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and Wisconsin), where the “no-fault” divorce law is observed, citing any action by his/her partner, even infidelity, is immaterial.

The other 33 states, however, are known as “fault” states since these require that those who file for divorce identify the specific ground/s upon which the divorce is being sought (despite observing the “fault” divorce law, these 33 states now also recognize the “no fault” law, thus a spouse may file for divorce by citing simply the ground of irreconcilable differences).

The law firm Marshall & Taylor PLLC mentions in its website how choosing to end a marriage can be a difficult decision to make; however, there are times when it just is the best option for you and your partner’s situation. Furthermore, the firm also says that regardless of what form of divorce you pursue, there will likely be a number of complicated legal matters that you will need to work out; this is what makes having an experienced divorce attorney critical. However, before finally choosing someone to represent you legally, it is equally important that he or she is someone you can count on and trust; someone who will help settle you case as fast as possible rather than find ways to prolong it in order to make money out of your case.

As explained in the website of the law firm, Kirker Davis, LLP, divorce can have profound consequences with the potential for long-lasting effects on a person’s finances and property. Thus, if you are considering divorce, it may be in your best interest to consult with an experienced divorce lawyer, who may be able to provide you with sound legal counsel on your ideal course of action.

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