It is usually the last straw that sends a couple running to divorce court. When that happens, impulse and emotion often overcome common sense and rational thinking. Although divorce alternatives may not relieve all the pressure points in your marriage, it may make sense to review your options.
What If I Move Out? Pros and Cons
If you’re considering a divorce, says one divorce attorney Buffalo NY couple, do not impulsively move out of the family home. The court may see this decision to leave the marital home as a disinterest in retaining the home. Similarly, telling the court that you are afraid to leave your children with your spouse because of their lack of parenting skills or some other type of behavior may be unbelievable if you regularly leave the kids home with your spouse. Make sure your actions do not communicate the wrong impression to the court.
Some states, like New York, allow you to file for a legal separation. The court will determine the rights and responsibilities of both parties during a specific period. This petition is similar to a dissolution petition, however, it’s not requesting a termination of the marriage. Couples can also draft certain requirements and agreements, and it doesn’t prohibit either person from seeking a dissolution of marriage later.
When You Decide to Divorce
In addition to ending a marriage, divorce proceedings also include decisions relating to spousal support, also called alimony, child support, child custody, and property and debt distribution, as well as issues concerning the payment of attorney fees. Prior to taking any action to legally end your marriage, consult a family law attorney to make sure you have a good understanding of short and long-term legal consequences. You should also try to make this process as amicable as possible and work out terms that favor both of you. Assuming there is no fear of domestic violence, speak to your spouse about your decision to divorce. If both spouses agree to the terms before or after filing for divorce, it is referred to as an uncontested divorce. If there are one or more unresolved issues, such as alimony, child support or custody, or distribution of property, it is referred to as a contested divorce. Uncontested divorces are usually less expensive and resolved faster, but if there is anything one spouse cannot agree to, the process can quickly become problematic.
Submitting a Petition for Divorce
A petition for divorce is the first pleading filed in court. It includes all allegations, names, residences, and that the marriage is irretrievably broken. If you have minor children or property, it will include all the information, and the location of marital property. Many people make the mistake of trying to handle a divorce themselves, unrepresented by counsel, and in more than 95 percent of cases, they fail to include every bit of pertinent information. A spouse could end up shorting themselves out of equitable funds or property, and the other side is not entitled to help you.
Another overwhelming element of divorces is financial affidavits. They are time consuming to prepare, and it must be through and accurate, and detail all expenses, incomes, and liabilities in order for a judge to distribute assets. For many, a divorce is one of the most frustrating and terrifying experiences to go through, thus it’s crucial to have an experienced attorney that will draft, file, send, and represent you throughout the process.