Divorce: The Basics

Divorce The Basics

Sometimes, despite best intentions, the time comes where we need to start the process of divorcing your husband or wife. There are many myths around the process, much of which has been gained through television shows and films which of course focus on dramatizing the procedure, because of course, it wouldn’t be entertaining if it wasn’t dramatic! Back in the real world, the divorce process is structured in a way that aims to prevent things from spiraling out of control in a lengthy court battle, especially where children are involved.

Generally, emotions run high at the end of a relationship and it is difficult to come to an agreement on the terms, division of assets, and access to children between the two people. Before starting your divorce proceedings you should look to attempt to agree on as much as possible, this will reduce the amount of time the divorce will take and of course the legal costs. You could do this between a third-party, increasingly people are turning to mediation as a way of coming to a somewhat amicable agreement. In a mediated divorce a mediator discusses the situation with the husband and wife to help them come to some form of an agreement. If a prenuptial agreement was in place prior to the marriage divorce is unlikely to need much in the way of mediation or litigation and should prove to be a simpler process.

If mediation has not or will not be possible then you will need to turn to divorce litigation. The first step would be finding a divorce lawyer in your state, ideally, if you have any special circumstances regarding your situation find one which specializes or has experience in your field. This will make sure you are getting the most specialized advice available to you.

There are two types of divorce in most states, these are fault divorce and no-fault divorce. The fault divorce requires the one filing for divorce to give a legally valid reason for the grounds of divorce and give proof that the spouse was the one that committed the fault that led to the breakdown of the marriage. The fault-based reasons for divorce are abuse, cruelty, substance abuse, bigamy, mental illness, abandonment, criminal convictions, adultery, or impotence.

A no-fault divorce differs from state to state but they all roughly cover the same thing, this is a divorce caused by the breakdown of a marriage defined in one of the following ways: incompatibility, irreconcilable differences, irretrievable breakdown.  If you are planning on divorcing on one of these points you should carefully check the laws of your state and the ways in which this could be worded. Some states require the married couple to be separated and therefore live apart for a minimum period of time before they will allow a divorce to be filed this way. This can be anywhere from 6 months to five years depending on the state.

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