Common Questions From Spouses Petitioning Divorce
Divorce Lawyers Rockville, MD
When spouses realize it is finally time to petition a divorce, they may be overwhelmed with questions about what to expect, what specific legal terminology means, and how long the entire process may take. It can help divorced couples to consult with divorce lawyers Rockville, MD. An attorney who is knowledgeable in divorce legalities can provide insight, guidance, representation, strategy, and support. Here is a list of a few common questions divorcing marriage partners may ask an attorney during a consultation:
Q: What does it mean if a divorce is contested?
A contested divorce is typically the most complicated type of divorce because it involves spouses who can’t agree on one or many issues of their marriage dissolution—one or both spouses contest (dispute) some aspect of their divorce. Therefore, the divorce proceedings often take much longer to finalize and involve more stress and higher legal fees. When spouses cannot agree on their divorce issues, they end up in court, and a judge makes these decisions for them.
Since contested divorces are complex, divorcing spouses should speak with an experienced divorce attorney who can inform them of their legal rights and make sure their rights and best interests are fully protected.
Q: What does it mean if the divorce is uncontested?
A: At times, marriage partners enter divorce proceedings, agreeing that it is the right decision. An uncontested divorce means that both spouses agree to the divorce and that there is no opposition to the decision. They can work civilly together and agree to negotiate terms for the settlement, including things like debt division, child custody and support, alimony or spousal support, property division, and more. When a mutual agreement exists, each spouse is willing to participate in the process. This is also referred to as a consensual divorce.
Keep in mind that, even though the divorce is not being contested, it is not necessarily an easy process. Divorce triggers resentment and negative emotions, even in its best circumstances. Settlement negotiations and any disputes that arise can take a significant emotional toll on both spouses. For an uncontested divorce to proceed smoothly, the divorcing spouses need to be able to put any negative feelings on the back burner and deal straightforwardly with the business at hand.
It is in each spouse’s best interest to retain their own divorce lawyer to review any agreements and ensure they are protected. When the soon-to-be ex-partners hire their attorneys, they should explain to them that they desire their divorce to be uncontested. Once the divorcing parties have agreed on all the issues, their attorneys will review the agreement and file the final paperwork with the courts.
Q: Do all states recognize a “no-fault” divorce?
A: Currently, all states in America have passed laws that permit divorce when at least one spouse no longer desires to be married to the other. At one time, the only route a person could use to get a divorce was if he or she proved the other spouse had committed something unjust within the marriage. For example, one spouse may have had to provide evidence that their partner had cheated, been abusive, was sent to prison for felony charges, or were deemed mentally unstable. As you can imagine, this used to make it quite challenging to exit marriages that were simply no longer working and not due to any specific incidents.
Q: Are there any factors that may prolong divorce finalization?
A: Yes, some aspects of the divorce could result in the entire process taking much longer than anticipated. On average, a divorce may take up to a year or longer to complete. Here is a list of requirements for divorce that can add extra time. It may be a good idea to talk with divorce lawyers Rockville, MD to see if theses provisions apply to you in the state in which you currently reside:
- Separation Requirements: In some states, divorcing spouses must be living apart for a designated length of time before they can get a divorce. The time requirement may range anywhere from none, up to a few years.
- Residency Requirements: State laws may require that both spouses reside within the state before they can receive a divorce. The time requirement may range from none, up to twelve months.
- Other Divorce Requirements: Some states may require spouses to attend mediation, marriage counseling, or education classes before they can get a divorce. However, the issues related to the petition for divorce, such as whether one spouse has been abusive towards the other, are likely to be taken into consideration.
Contact The Law Office of Daniel J. Wright for their insight into family law and common questions about divorce.