Going through a divorce can bring mixed emotions for everyone involved, and if you and your spouse disagree on the terms of the divorce, your pain and stress only worsens. If you are going through a divorce, or you plan on getting divorced in the near future, check out these five questions to help you know what to expect with your divorce.
What's the Difference Between Divorce and Annulment?
In most cases, to legally end a marriage, you need to get an official divorce, which is a legal dissolution of the marriage. In other words, it is an official and legal process that ends the marriage. An annulment, however, assumes the marriage was never officially legal from the start. So when you get an annulment, it's an official legal process that declares the marriage invalid. There are a few scenarios that qualify for an annulment, but usually, you must prove someone was forced/tricked into marriage or the marriage could have never been legal. For example, if you discover your spouse is legally married in another state under a different name, your marriage can likely be annulled.
Do You Need a Divorce for Common Law Marriages?
For the most part, getting married involves completing an application for a marriage license, having witnesses, paying for the marriage license, etc. However, in some states, common law marriage still exists. In these states, if you've lived with a partner for a specific amount of time, you may be considered legally married. This gives you all the perks of being married, such as tax benefits, insurance, etc. but it also means you will have to file for an official divorce if you want to end the marriage, which will be necessary if either party wants to remarry.
Is a Divorce Attorney Necessary?
You don't have to hire a divorce attorney. In fact, if you have few assets/debts, no kids and both parties agree on what they want, a third neutral party may be all that is needed. However, for more complicated cases, especially those involving young children and lots of assets, an attorney, such as one from a place like the Law Office of Greg Quimby, P.C., may be your best bet. Also, if your spouse has hired an attorney, you need to get one too. Only an attorney will be able to fight to get you what you deserve. An attorney is also a good idea if there is a lot of animosity between both parties. One may be vindictive or try to stonewall the other. On the other hand, simply talking to your spouse may be painful, but an attorney handles it all for you.
How Does the Court Determine Who Gets the Children?
If children are involved, the divorce may be more complicated because custody and child support are now part of the divorce agreement. Both parents may want full custody of the children or one parent may not want the other involved at all. In addition, one or both parents may complain about the amount of child support. Usually, the courts determine who gets primary custody of the children by determining who provides the most care and spends the most time with the children. If one parent stays home to care for the children, mom or dad, they will likely get custody.
Who Keeps What?
Dividing property and belongings is another complicated part of a divorce. In most cases, you get to keep any property that is considered your separate property. Separate property usually includes anything you brought into the marriage and anything you were given, inherited, received as a gift, etc. Community property, however, belongs to you both, and it usually includes any money and items earned/purchased during the marriage. Ideally, you can agree on who gets what, but if not, you, your attorneys, and the courts will have to negotiate the details. If there is a home involved, the parent who gets the children will likely get the home.
No one enjoys going through a divorce because it can be painful, emotional, and stressful. However, if you believe your marriage is over, it's time to get help by contacting a divorce attorney. They can help get you what you deserve in the divorce settlement. For more information, contact an attorney in your area today.
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