Marriage stands as one of the world’s oldest institutions, one bound by many traditions. After all, this institution has the vital role of uniting a man and woman into a single household that can raise children, and that continues today. Many parts of the world today also recognize same-sex marriages, and these households are known for adopting children. But in any case, divorce is also common today, especially in the United States. Divorce is the legal end of a marriage, as opposed to a legal separation, and spouses today file divorce forms for any number of reasons. Child custody attorneys may be hired if children are in the divorcing household, and divorce lawyers may be hired by both parties during the divorce process. What is there to know about the divorce process? What might happen during and after that divorce process?
Why Divorce Happens
A number of typical reasons may cause a spouse to start the divorce process on their partner, and some of them may call for lawyers while others merely require the aid of a mediator. Not all divorces are dramatic and messy affairs, but some certainly are. Studies show that sheer infidelity is the top reason for divorce in the United States today, when one spouse is unfaithful to the other. Statistics show that both men and women cheat on their partners and at roughly the same rates, though sometimes for different reasons. Finding out that your spouse had an affair may very well prompt a divorce without a second thought.
In other cases, abuse in the household will bring about the divorce process. A spouse may be violently, verbally, or even sexually abusive toward their other spouse or their children, and a divorce case like that often involves the victims moving elsewhere for safety during the divorce. Here again, both men and women may be abusive toward their spouses, with a major difference being that women more often use improvised weapons to strike a person. And drug or alcohol abuse may easily prompt a divorce, since such substance abuse puts a massive financial strain on the household. Drug or alcohol abuse may cause a personality change and spur violence.
Not all divorces are messy. Some Americans divorce for much less dramatic, but no less, valid reasons such as a lack of compatibility. The spouses may realize that they have very different spending and lifestyle habits, so the household is dissolved. Studies also show that couples who date for three or more years before their engagement are much less likely to divorce than those who get engaged before one full year of dating.
The Divorce Process
As mentioned above, a spouse who feels the need for divorce may turn to local divorce law firms and consult the attorneys who work there (this may or may not incur a fee) and then hire one. And in the case of abuse in the household, the divorcing spouse may file their divorce papers while they relocate to another, private residence (and might bring under-18 children with them too). This keeps them safe and private during the divorce process, and they might only interact with their spouse through their lawyer. The other spouse may very well hire their own attorney to defend their own interests, and these lawyers will negotiate on their clients’ behalf over any and all assets in the household. Child custody lawyers in particular might be hired if need be, and a child aged 12 or over might speak privately with the judge about their preferences on where to live after the divorce. Such divorces may also involve a lot of money or assets that are fought over, ranging from a bank account to cars or RVs to a house, vacation home, or even jewelry or family heirlooms in some cases.
Less complicated divorces, such as those with minimal assets (and no children) and a lack of abuse or infidelity may make use of mediators instead. Not all divorces are dramatic affairs, and a couple may divorce simply due to personal differences. In this case, lawyers may not be needed, and instead an arbitrator may act as a neutral third party and help both spouses create productive and fair ideas on how to handle the divorce and divide their assets.