Many estimates say the divorce rate in the United States has increased to the point where nearly half of all current first marriages will end in divorce. The numbers are even higher in some Western states like Nevada and California where over 60% of first marriages fail. Nationwide, first marriages have 50% failure rate, second marriages fail about 65% of the time and 75% of all third marriages end in divorce. However, the numbers for divorce rates in different individual cultural, economic and social categories can vary a lot. For example, studies indicate that couples in higher economic brackets get divorced less frequently and would have a lower overall divorce rate than those with less money. However you count the numbers, the consequences of divorce can have far lasting effects on individuals, families and communities alike.
No one ever gets married thinking they will get divorced, but sometimes it might be the best option, especially if there is abuse present and there are dependant children involved. A bad marriage can be terminated by divorce, but a badly executed divorce could have lifelong effects. A poorly handled divorce might result in lasting negative property settlements and financial losses. Although, obtaining a divorce can be complicated and expensive, when handled correctly it can also be an opportunity to start a new life with better chances for long-term success.
Initiating a divorce is an important decision and good advance planning can help reduce the emotional stress and financial uncertainty. Advance preparation will make the legal process easier and anyone planning a divorce should at least consult a divorce attorney about their options before initiating the process. A qualified family law attorney can help you understand the procedure, laws and requirements as well as answer any questions about how you and your family will be affected by the divorce. They can also help make sure settlements concerning finances, property and dependant children are fair.
The rules governing divorce vary by state and a local divorce attorney can help you understand the divorce laws in your area. If you have an attorney to handle the legal issues, it will allow you to spend more time on the other more personal areas of your divorce.
The stereotypical image of a long and nasty battle in divorce court is not really accurate as most divorces do not result in lengthy court trials. Divorce attorneys on both sides will assist in negotiation and mediation to help draw up agreements before a case is presented in court. This means they help save time and trouble by smoothing out any disagreements before the issues are presented to a judge. An attorney can be especially effective when dealing with negotiation and compromise on issues of property division and spousal support, and they can help make sure those disputes do not make a divorce any more lengthy or expensive than it has to be. In uncomplicated divorce cases an attorney might suggest alternative resolutions like a no-fault divorce or a collaborative divorce where both sides reach an equitable solution through negotiation. Any type of agreements made up front will require fewer forms and cost less than a trial dispute.
No two divorce cases are exactly the same and they all have their own individual circumstances. The courts have some latitude in how they can handle the process and a local divorce attorney can advise you as to how the local divorce court is likely to handle the particular aspects of your own divorce. Not every divorce requires the services of an attorney and in uncontested, uncomplicated situations; people can save a good deal of money by handling the paperwork by themselves with the aid of a divorce document service or online divorce service. However, some divorce cases will require an attorney, and handling your own divorce is not a good idea if the case will just end up in a trial dispute anyway.
If attorneys worked for free no one would need them, but it is likely that your interests in court will be better represented by an attorney than they would be without one. If you suspect you might need an attorney in your own divorce case, you probably do. Some factors that may be present in a divorce will definitely increase the need for an attorney. You will definitely need a divorce attorney if one spouse has a criminal record or there is any type of abuse in the marriage, including child abuse, sexual abuse, verbal abuse and alcohol or drug abuse. You’ll probably need an attorney if there is a large estate or the assets of a business to be divided. While it is true that every person has the right to represent themselves in court, it doesn’t mean they will be able to get the same results a good divorce attorney would.