Divorce is a rough part of life that nobody wants to experience. Unfortunately, about 50% of marriages in the United states end in divorce. As a top-rated Arlington, TX divorce lawyer from Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC explains, the harsh reality is that it’s important to know the procedure and rules regulating this touchy subject.
Types of Divorce
The two major types of divorce are at-fault divorce and no-fault divorce. If you are filing for a no-fault divorce, neither spouse has an obligation to prove the other spouse directly caused the split, but this is not the case for an at-fault divorce. When filing for an at-fault divorce, you must prove that your spouse’s behavior led to the marriage’s downfall.
Grounds for Divorce
Common grounds for divorce include cheating, bigamy, desertion, confinement in prison, and mental or physical abuse. There are many reasons to file for an at-fault divorce opposed to filing for a no-fault divorce. Whoever is filing the at-fault divorce might not want to wait out the period of separation required by their states law for a no-fault divorce. You could possibly receive more alimony or a greater share of the marital property when filing for an at-fault divorce. Some file for an at fault divorce simply because of hurt feelings. Regardless of the reason, at-fault divorces tend to last longer and end up being more expensive due to the involvement of lawyers. If both parties are at fault the court will grant the divorce to the party who is least at fault.
The Divorce Process in 5 Steps
The first step in a divorce is to file a petition asking the court to terminate the marriage. This petition must include proof of residency and a reason for the divorce. For the divorce to be finalized it typically takes 12 months and an average of $12,900.
Step two is to request temporary court orders regarding child custody, child support, and spousal support. This is important to do early on in the process, especially if you are financially dependent on your spouse. After your request is made, the court will have a hearing and will act upon the information gathered from both spouses.
Step three in the divorce is to file proof of service. This document tells the court that you meet the legal requirement to serve your spouse with divorce papers. This step is very straightforward if your spouse is compliant in the divorce because they could sign an acknowledgement of service. If your spouse does not want a divorce or is trying to make the process difficult, you should hire a licensed professional to deliver the documents.
Step four is to negotiate a settlement. If you are in agreement with your spouse on topics such as child custody, support, and property division then you can skip this step, otherwise the court may schedule a settlement conference or you could undergo mediation.
The fifth step is to go to trial. In most cases this step is not needed, but if negotiations fail there must be a trial. This trial will typically be held in front of a judge, but in rare cases it could be held in front of a jury. These trials work like any other. Both sides present evidence and call witnesses to back their arguments regarding property division, child custody, and financial support. After all evidence is considered the court rules and makes a final decision. The sixth and final step and the process is to finalize the judgment. This happens when the judge signs the order of dissolution.
Divorce is a rough part of life that no one wants to go through. Save yourself some time and sign a prenup because you never know what might happen.