Divorce has a reputation in popular culture for being an awful process. However, you might wonder if it really has to be awful, or whether that's just the truth of divorce. Divorce lawyers will tell you the process rarely has to be more painful than the two parties make it. Let's look at what might make the process easier and what to do if things don't turn out so simple.
Many U.S. states employ some version of the no-fault divorce system. This means only one party has to seek a divorce, and they don't have to declare any more compelling reason than irreconcilable differences. Some states have cooling-off periods before they'll grant divorces, but the courts in many states will grant a divorce if at least one partner still wants one at the end of the period.
At-fault divorce still exists in some states. However, a divorce law firm will rarely encourage a client to pursue one unless there is significant money at stake. Without a financial incentive, there isn't much to win in the at-fault version of divorce. This applies even if there was abuse or infidelity because a divorce judge doesn't look at those issues. Saying you want out is enough.
The Myth of Taking Half
One major popular myth about divorce is the less advantaged partner is guaranteed to get half the stuff and half of the other person's income as alimony. That isn't true in the vast majority of cases. A judge will look at the financial circumstances of both partners, especially if one of them has serious health issues.
The court will apply the state's laws regarding the equitable distribution of marital assets. Usually, any assets someone owned before the marriage remain theirs unless they integrated them into the marital property.
Threatening to Fight the Divorce
Many people go into the divorce process with the mistaken belief they can fight it. As previously noted, the no-fault system assures anyone who wants out of a marriage that they'll get out.
Note there are some tactical possibilities for someone who wants to string the process out. For example, people currently on business or deployed in military service out of the state will have longer to receive papers when their partners serve them. However, they can't avoid being served forever. In the worst scenario, you can sue for divorce in absentia if your ex successfully avoids being served for months on end.
If you want to know more, or are looking to file for divorce, contact a divorce lawyer near you today to get started.
Hello, I'm Christina Miller. Have you ever been fascinated with why the law works the way it does? Ever since I was in junior high, I had an intense interest in anything related to our legal system, whether it be a crime drama on television, a judge show or a legal case covered on the news. I followed it all. As time progressed, I began learning about how the actual legal system worked and not just the fictionalized version of our legal system. This has lead me to start writing my own blog posts about law that I hope will help others.