How Divorce Proceedings Work
A family lawyer in Rockville MD such as our lawyers from the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright is often asked questions regarding divorce proceedings. They have taken the liberty of answering some of the most common questions.
Is it necessary that I hire a family lawyer or can I represent myself?
In some situations, divorcing couples are able to move through the divorce process fairly smoothly. Before you decide that you will represent yourself, you will need to carefully review your situation. Being able to amicably move through a divorce will ultimately save both you and your ex time and money. However, emotions can run high and sometimes they can get in the way of coming together to form an agreement. It can also cause one to make mistakes. A family lawyer can not only help you navigate the legal system and negotiate an agreement; they can provide the objectivity you need for a successful outcome.
How do I initiate a divorce?
Once you and your partner have determined that you will no longer continue your marriage, you may feel overwhelmed or unsure of the next steps. With the assistance of a family lawyer, the divorce petition is the first step in the process. One party will serve the petition to the other party. They will sign or accept the petition acknowledging that they have received it. Following this, your family lawyer will file the petition with the court. There are key elements of a divorce petition including the reason for the divorce and information regarding each party. In addition, there may be temporary orders or agreements within the petition that include:
- Custody details
- Child support arrangements
- Visitation guidelines
- Financial agreements
How long will it take to complete the divorce process?
Sometimes a divorce can take a long time. This is especially true in situations that are contentious and the parties are unable to reach agreements. Unfortunately, when parties are unwilling to negotiate fairly with one another, it can be costly and time consuming. In divorces that are uncontested and parties are able to easily reach agreements, the process can take up to six months.
What if we have difficulty reaching an agreement?
Your family attorney may recommend mediation as a solution. If you and your ex are able to reach an agreement, it can be formalized by your attorneys. If mediation is unsuccessful, litigation may be the next logical step.
Why is a divorce lawyer helpful when children are involved?
Divorce can be incredibly complicated, especially if children are involved. Matters like child support, child custody, and visitation rights are all added to the divorce process. A good divorce lawyer will know how to help you throughout the entire divorce to get fair rights with your children. Some ex spouses are really good at dealing with one another and coming to a mutual agreement, but it is still very important to have a judge make a decision — or a mediator help you and your ex spouse come to an agreement — so everything is in writing and set in stone. All of these matters are fluid and able to be changed by a judge at any point, but you need to have all of your rights in writing so that if your ex spouse violates anything he or she will be held accountable for those actions and you will have any wrongs against you or your children corrected.
A family lawyer who specializes in divorce will know what kind of documents are important to write up regarding your children during a divorce proceeding, and will have your child’s best interest in mind the entire time you are going through this process.
If you are thinking of a divorce, contact a family lawyer today.