Filing for divorce can be one of the hardest things that you will do in your lifetime. However, it is important to know what the divorce process entails and how your life may be changed after a marriage has been officially dissolved. What should you know about divorce before filing for one?
Not All States Have the Same Laws
While some states declare that property should be split 50/50 when the divorce occurs, other states have equitable property division laws. This means that each person gets what they need based on the facts of the case. One spouse could get the house because he or she raises the children while the other pays child support to help support that child.
Courts Care Most About the Best Interests of Your Children
A court is most interested about what the best interests of a child in the case are. This means that a parent may gain parental rights such as visitation or custody even if the other parent objects. Parents may retain rights even if the have a history of domestic abuse or other legal issues.
Legal Separation May Be Necessary Prior to Divorce
In some states, it is necessary to have a legal separation prior to a divorce becoming official. However, it may be possible for a custodial parent to ask for child support and spousal support to get by until the divorce is final. A preliminary support order may be made permanent when the divorce becomes official.
Divorce Proceedings Can Proceed Amicably
Mediation may be preferable to standing before a judge when it comes time to settle a divorce. It may be best for the relationship between the former spouses and any children that they may have. While the parents may not have romantic feelings again, they may be able to come to an agreement that allows them to be effective parents to their children.
Residency Criteria May Apply
You may need to have lived in the town, city or state where you have filed for divorce for 30 or 60 days prior to filing. Otherwise, your previous location will be granted jurisdiction in your case. If more than one jurisdiction issues a ruling in the case, the child’s home state trumps all other jurisdictions.
A divorce is a major event in anyone’s life. Knowing what you can expect during your divorce can help you plan for life on your own or as a single parent. It may be a good idea to talk to an attorney or to a low cost or free legal service in your area if you have any further questions about what happens when a marriage ends.