If you are unhappy in your marriage, you may be contemplating divorce. Before you go to divorce court, you're going to need to choose what kind of divorce you want. Here are your options.
A separation is a temporary agreement where the two spouses live apart for at least a year. This is often used as a last effort to save a marriage or as a trial for whether the spouses really want to go through with a divorce.
To file for separation, you must agree on all divorce issues including property division, alimony, child custody, and child support. After the one-year separation period, you can legally file for a divorce and the judge will ratify the separation agreement as the divorce agreement.
An irreconcilable differences divorce is also commonly known as a no-fault divorce. This is because there is no need for one spouse to prove that the other did anything wrong.
To receive a no-fault divorce, both spouses must file a sworn statement with the court that the marriage is irretrievably broken and has been for some time. A no-fault divorce requires the consent of both spouses.
If necessary, the judge will divide marital property as evenly as possible, award alimony if there was a large income gap between the two spouses, and decide child custody and support issues in the best interests of the children.
In a fault divorce, a spouse alleges wrongdoing and the consent of the other spouse is not required for a divorce if the allegations are facially supported. Grounds for a fault divorce can include adultery, abuse, neglect, or abandonment.
Under modern law, a finding of fault generally does not affect property division or alimony decisions unless financial harm can be shown. Child custody decisions are only affected if the at-fault spouse's behavior is deemed by the judge to be potentially harmful to the children.
When most people think of divorce, they think of long, drawn out court battles. Some divorces certainly are dramatic, but not all have to be.
In some cases, the spouses simply agree to part ways and can readily agree on a fair divorce settlement. When they do, they can draw up a full divorce agreement, submit it to the court, and have it approved almost immediately.
To learn more about your available options for a divorce, contact a local family law attorney, like those at Myers Law Firm LLC.