Frequently Asked Questions about Divorce
Q: What is a legal divorce?
A: A divorce is a method of terminating a marriage contract between two individuals. From a legal standpoint, your divorce will give each person the legal right to marry someone else, it will legally divide the couple’s assets and debts, and determine the care and custody of their children. Each state addresses these issues differently, but there are some relatively uniform standards. Each state does have some type of “no fault” divorce laws that can significantly simplify the divorce process.
Q: What is a no fault divorce?
A: Traditionally, divorce was granted on the basis of some marital misconduct such as adultery or physical abuse. In these cases, the “guilty” spouse was punished by getting a smaller share of the couple’s property or being denied custody of their children while the “innocent” spouse was rewarded for being faithful to the vows of marriage. In a no fault divorce, however, both parties agree that there is no “fault” involved in the grounds for divorce. Please note that states’ laws differ on the issue of fault or no fault divorce. Among the 50 states, a number provide no fault divorce as their residents’ only choice; residents of other states may pursue fault based or no fault divorce.
Your choice of attorney to represent your interests during a divorce could mean the difference between successful negotiations or expensive, ongoing litigation. Please contact our firm today to schedule a consultation with a divorce attorney who can provide a clear explanation of your legal rights and options.
Divorce – An Overview
Contemplating divorce is always difficult. Whether you are sure you want to end your marriage or are still considering your options, it helps to learn the basics of divorce law and process. Should you conclude that divorce is necessary, it is very important that you seek the assistance of an experienced family law attorney at Elisabeth A. Barker, Attorney at Law in Syracuse, NY. Involving a knowledgeable family law attorney as soon as possible in the divorce process is one of the best ways to preserve your own long-term financial and emotional health.
Division of Property
When there is little or no marital property, no children, no issues of alimony or spousal maintenance, amicable spouses can usually obtain a quick divorce. Most divorces, however, are different and far more complex. The typical divorce involves a union of a number of years with considerable marital property, both personal property and real estate, children, family businesses, large or concealed debts, trust funds, real estate in other states, joint and separate accounts, investments, insurance, pensions, and other assets. In these complex situations, the parties often cannot divide their property on their own and therefore may require court involvement for its ultimate division.
Questions to Ask During Divorce
Whether you should end your marriage is one of the most important and difficult decisions you will ever encounter. It is important to approach the question from a rational perspective rather than solely an emotional one. In many ways it is a business decision that requires you to evaluate many issues. Once you review this list of questions, you may rethink the direction you are headed, or you will be better prepared to move forward while working with an attorney.
How to Move On
Recovering from a divorce is similar to the grieving process one experiences when a loved one dies. There are five stages in the process: shock and denial, anger, ambivalence, depression and recovery. Many people expect to work through these stages one after the other, but that isn’t usually how it happens. You can expect to move in and out of each phase over time and sometimes experience more than one phase at the same time. It is a difficult process and time consuming. Family counselors advise it may take as long as two years to fully recover.
An Amicable Divorce
Divorce is one of the most emotional experiences a person will ever face. The decision to end a marriage is not easy and is often accompanied with anger, fear, and resentment. The negative emotions associated with divorce are responsible for more than hurt feelings; they affect the final outcome of settlement negotiations. Most important, if children are involved, they will suffer. It is in your best interest to approach divorce from an amicable perspective. This will allow you to put on your business hat, which is critical for reaching a successful settlement. It will also allow you to put on your effective parent hat, which is critical for helping your children through this difficult process.
Divorce Resource Links
Divorce and Separation: An Overview
The Legal Information Institute (LII) is known internationally as a leading provider of public legal information. The LII’s Family Law section contains statutes, case law, and articles covering a variety of family law topics including divorce.
Divorce Laws by State
This website is provided by the Legal Information Institute (LII) and includes links to the divorce laws of the fifty states and the District of Columbia.
Marriage and Divorce Data
This website contains marriage and divorce data provide by the U.S. Census Bureau. Data includes current marital status of persons by age, sex, and race, the estimated median age at first marriage for men and women at the U.S. level, and reports published from special studies which collect data on the marital history of the population.
Divorce Care is a resource for finding support groups to help you through one of the most stressful times in your life.