Knowing How to Handle a Divorce

Marriage is one of the oldest and most universal institutions in the entire world, designed to unite a man and woman into a household that will raise children. Some nations today have also recognized same-sex marriage, and same-sex households are known to adopt children. Now in the 21st century, the legal end of a marriage, divorce, is also common. Statistics say that around 40% of American marriages will end in divorce, and when this happens, the two spouses may hire help such as divorce lawyers or divorce attorneys, child custody lawyers, family lawyers, and more. Some messy divorces may require such help, but for uncontested divorce cases, court might not be necessary. Instead, divorce mediators are a fine choice for an uncontested divorce.

Why Divorce Happens

Why might a spouse seek a legal end to their marriage? Many surveys and studies are tracking how and why Americans marry and divorce, and among all reasons for divorce, infidelity is the most common. This is when a spouse cheats on their partner and is caught somehow, and the emotional trauma can be serious. If marriage counseling does not fix the problem, then a divorce may come next, either an uncontested divorce or a more serious and messy case. Meanwhile, some spouses seek divorce because their partner is abusing drugs or alcohol and is not seeking recovery. Substance abuse may cause the loss of a job, serious financial strain, and a change in personality, and may even lead to abusive behavior toward other people. Whether or not drugs and alcohol are involved, some spouses become verbally, physically, or even sexually abusive toward other members of the household, and that could very well lead to divorce. The abused spouse and children may even relocate to another residence in private during the divorce.

Contested Divorces

A contested divorce is one where the spouses may hire lawyers to represent their respective sides, and they may bitterly fight over the terms of the divorce in a court of law. Not all divorces end up this way, but some will, and that calls for legal help. A spouse may start by looking up local divorce law firms and getting consultations from the attorneys working there, and those consultations may or may not cost a fee. Once a lawyer is hired, the spouse may file for divorce, and the other spouse may hire their own lawyer to defend their interests during the case. And as mentioned earlier, an abused spouse might relocate to another residence during this time, and only interact with their spouse through their lawyer.

Uncontested Divorce

Not all divorces are huge, messy affairs that involve child custody, lawyers, and abusive spouses. Some divorces are smaller in scale, and the spouses are divorcing for reasons such as a lack of mutual compatibility or very different spending ideas and lifestyle. The two divorcing spouses may have fairly similar ideas on how to handle the divorce, and they will fight over relatively few aspects of it. So, they may hire divorce mediators rather than lawyers, and negotiate the terms of the divorce themselves. The mediator acts as a neutral third party who helps draw out productive and clearly communicated ideas from both parties, to keep the case moving smoothly. This is often cheaper and more private than a divorce court case, adding to its appeal. Not all divorce cases require the help of lawyers and judges.

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