What To Know Before Getting A Divorce

While these statistics keep changing, divorce is common in every demographic, with approximately 40% of marriages in the U.S. ending in divorce. According to the Huffington Post, communication problems are the number one cause of failed marriages. Other causes include financial problems, lack of commitment, unresolved conflicts, and more.

Regardless of the reason, divorce is a difficult time for both spouses. The divorce process involves several rules, entangled emotions, negotiations, and paperwork. Some divorce cases are easy, especially if the spouses didn’t have children or many assets together. No matter the situation, below are some important things to know to settle your divorce case properly.

Know The Divorce Requirements

Couples should meet several state-specific requirements to be granted a divorce petition/request by the court. Standard requirements include:

  • Residency – While you can get married in any state, provided you adhere to marriage licence rules of the state, the rules of ending a marriage aren’t relaxed. Couples should meet the state’s residency provisions to file for divorce. For instance, most states require that couples should reside in the state for a minimum of three months before filing the petition. Always verify the state laws of where you intend to file the case.

  • Waiting period – Some state laws don’t allow the court to finalise divorce cases until the given period lapses. For instance, in Texas, a judge can’t conclude a divorce case before 60 days from the day the petition was filed are over. You might have to wait longer in other states, such as Michigan and Louisiana.

  • Separation requirements – The court may rule that spouses should live separately before filing for divorce or before the case is finalised. It is best to understand your state’s separation requirements. Otherwise, the court may reject or put your divorce petition on hold.

What Are The Issues In Divorce?

Before a divorce petition is finalised, several issues pertaining to marriage should be decided. Among them include:

  • Division of property – Couples should divide any pending debts and properties to finalise the divorce case. The court provides mediation in dividing family businesses and property, which includes any property acquired and debts incurred during the marriage.

  • Alimony – Also known as maintenance or spousal support, is a one-time payment made by a partner to the other after divorce. Courts award alimony after evaluating the spouse’s earning capacity and income.

  • Child custody and visitation – The court’s decision on child custody and parenting time or visitation is solely based on the child’s best interests. Most courts issue child custody orders that keep both parents in their kid’s life.

    Ideally, the judge awards joint legal custody, meaning that both parents should be involved in important decisions, such as the child’s education, religion, and medical treatment. If joint custody doesn’t promote the kid’s best interest, the court may award sole legal custody to one partner.

Other important divorce issues include equitable division, community property, and child support.

Endnote

A divorce case can’t be finalised until the judge writes a divorce decree. Like other court processes, divorce cases are complicated and might prove challenging, especially for partners undergoing emotional turmoil. While you can represent yourself in a divorce matter, hiring a lawyer is overly beneficial. 

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