Divorce and Equitable Distribution: How It Works

divorced

They say marriage is a sacred thing. Some countries even allow a person to marry only once to keep its sacredness. But not all marriage last as everyone thinks it does. Some people result to filing a divorce, wanting to break the bond they have created with their spouse on their marriage. In the study by the American Psychological Association, 50% of marriages end in divorce.

Most of the reasons people file for a divorce could be; financial problems, domestic violence, adultery, and spousal abandonment. Divorced people even ask professionals for legal mediation and arbitration services to resolve legal issues between the divorced couple.

Why Couples Divorce

A lot of answers may go around if you ask someone why they got divorced. It’s a sensitive topic to some, and they don’t want to talk about it in the first place. Getting married is every woman’s dream. They get to be the most beautiful lady in the crowd, and she can finally call herself using her husband’s last name. But not all marriages end in a happy ending.

Relationships get sour as the day passes, and couples are no longer feeling that spark that they felt in the early stage of their relationship. Some couples try to work it out, but it ends with a sign on a divorce paper in most cases. Most of the known reasons why couples get divorced are adultery, spousal abandonment, and domestic violence.

Types of Divorce

Most people think that when we say ‘divorce,’ it is only about the legal separation of a married couple. But most of us should be aware that they are different types of divorce and different ways to settle the equitable distribution. Here are three of the most common types of divorce and how they work:

1. Uncontested Divorce

This divorce is considered as a ‘friendly divorce’ and is an example of collaborative law. It is less expensive than divorce cases that have reached court trials. This type of divorce is fast, and mostly it doesn’t need any divorce lawyer to do the mediation as long as both parties have already reached an agreement on their own.

2. Contested Divorce

This divorce allows a judge to negotiate the marital settlement agreement. A contested divorce is suited for couples who failed to agree on certain terms such as child custody and property division. This type of divorce is expensive and might take a lot of time before everything is settled.

Cases like this usually continue for months, especially when lawyers are involved. In the U.S., a contested divorce costs up to $15,000, which is why most couples are struggling to end their divorce on a good note.

3. At-Fault Divorce

Although this type of divorce is not available in most US states, some states allow it. This type of divorce allows a couple to voice out their grievances in court, and they can publicly justify their grounds of divorce. At-fault divorce requires a spouse who has committed a ‘fault’ in their marriage to contribute more in terms of financial matters during the divorce’s trials and settlement.

The most common reasons for at-fault divorce are those mentioned above; adultery, spousal abandonment, and domestic violence. The downside of this agreement is that the party charged with a ‘fault’ can appeal to the court. It is also expensive and can continue for months, especially if the party that filed the divorce does not have enough evidence to claim that the other spouse committed a ‘fault.’

No matter what type of divorce it is, most of them require help from attorneys and sometimes can stand trial at the court.

Most couples have trouble agreeing on:

1. Property Distribution

When a couple gets divorced, the legal status of their property changes. In the early stage, the court will allow the couple to have to opportunity to decide on how they want to divide their property. Most of the couples already have a division plan and does not need any court trials and attorneys. But some couples do not agree on some terms, which is when the judge and the court step in.

The judge will negotiate the property division between the couple depending on their cases and sign the agreed plan when they officially agree on each term.

2. Parental Responsibilities

This is common to couples who have children. There are two types of parental responsibilities, which are physical and legal. Physical responsibility refers to visitations and custody. In comparison, legal responsibilities refer to the parent’s right to make important life decisions for the child.

Like property distribution, the court will allow the couple to develop a parenting plan that has to be detailed about the schedule and rules. If the couple cannot agree on some terms, then the case will go into a trial, and it’s up for the judge to decide.

3. Child Support

Child support is similar to parental responsibilities, but this refers to the financial support that a parent has to give to the child. This is to maintain the child’s standard of living after their parent’s divorce.

4. Alimony

This is a case that is not common to some divorced couples. Alimony refers to the payment that one spouse has to make to the other. Usually, the payments are only temporary. The reason for the payments is when a spouse quits their job to take care of the child. After the separation, the spouse needs to offer financial support to the other until their financial status change or when they remarry.

Divorce is one of the hardest times for couples and children. The role of the legal professionals is to make the separation fast and less expensive for both sides.

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