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Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce

How To Divorce

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Wondering how to divorce? Getting a divorce is not a complicated process. There are certain requirements you must meet based on your state’s divorce laws before you file for divorce. Once you have filed for divorce other factors such as child support, spousal support and division of marital property come into play. Below is a list of questions that I hear most often from people going through a divorce.

How much will my divorce cost?

The cost of a divorce is determined by how complex the case is and whether or not the issues in the cases are contested. An uncontested divorce is naturally going to cost less than a contested divorce. In other words, the more adversarial the divorce the more expensive the divorce will be in the long run. In addition to attorney fees, you will also have the expense of court filing fees and other expenses incurred during the divorce.

If your state laws require of you choose to us a Divorce Mediator you and your spouse will be responsible for those costs. If there are large assets to split, a business to be valuable or property to be appraised you may need to assistance of a Divorce Financial Analyst. This is another expense you and your spouse will be responsible for.

If my spouse cheated on me can I sue him/her for divorce on the grounds of adultery?

Whether or not you can sue for any “grounds” depends on what state you live in. Most states have adopted no-fault divorce laws meaning a divorce action can be brought against a spouse without the need for a reason. Be sure to check with a local attorney to find out what your state’s laws are concerning grounds for divorce.

On the other hand, if your spouse had cheated the negative behavior can come into play during divorce settlement negotiations. For instance, if a cheating husband/wife spends marital funds on the other woman/man the courts will take this into consideration when considering how marital assets are divided. A competent divorce attorney will be able to answer any questions you have about how your local court deals with such situations.

What if I don't want a divorce?

Anyone can obtain a divorce whether his or her spouse wants one or not. In no-fault divorce states, all you have to do is file your petition for divorce. Some states have laws requiring a period of separation but, after that period a divorce can be obtained whether your spouse agrees to it or not.

New York is the only state in the U.S. that does not have no-fault divorce laws. There are requirements you have to meet before you can obtain a divorce in New York. Familiarize yourself with New York Divorce Laws and speak with a local attorney.

What do I have to do to get the divorce process started?

There has to be a petition for divorce filed with your local court clerk. You can do this through a divorce attorney or you can do it Pro Se without the benefit of an attorney. Once a petition for divorce is filed, your spouse will have a certain number of days in which to respond to the petition.

Once a petition has been filed, the court clerk will stamp it and give it a case number. Once it is given a case number and your spouse responds the court will set a date for either a hearing for temporary court orders or mediation.

What is the difference between a legal separation and a divorce?

In a legal separation, you remain married. In a divorce, the marriage is dissolved and any legal ties between the parties are broken by law.

How does the court determine who gets custody of any children of the marriage?

The court will take into consideration what they feel is in the “child’s best interest.” The court will take into consideration a number of issues when considering custody. Issues such as who the child is living with at present, the relationship with each parent and a parent’s ability to care for and provide for the child.

Most courts are moving toward equal or shared parenting these days. If you are a father who wishes equal time with his child I urge you to persue the right to parent your child on a 50/50 basis with the child’s mother.

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