Like marriage, divorce in the United States is regulated by state governments, not the federal government. Divorce laws vary from state to state. Although all states allow “no fault” divorce proceedings, in many states a court may still take into account the behavior of the parties when dividing property, debts, evaluating custody, and support.
Preparing for Your Divorce
Getting a divorce is not a complicated process. There are certain requirements you must meet based on yourstate’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.
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. Anuncontested 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.
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.
Review the requirements of the Uncontested Divorce Program
If there are no children under the age of 21 born or adopted into the marriage and all property and debt division are unanimously agreed to, you can qualify for the expedited Uncontested Divorce Program.
Only no-fault divorces, meaning the problems in the relationship have been ongoing for at least six months and cannot be reconciled, are eligible for this program. There can be no allegations of fault. At least one party must be willing to swear under oath to this breakdown of the marriage. One of the spouses must make a decision and be whistleblower, and terminate their marriage.
Legal procedures when children are involved are quite complex. It is best for you and your spouse to agree on issues of property, custody, and visitation before you begin to prepare the mountain of forms.
Consider summarizing your agreement in a memo that you and your spouse both sign and date. It may prevent arguments further into the procedure.Read More »