Is Divorce a Terrible Event or an Opportunity to Reveal Yourself?

Divorce

Navigating Divorce: How to Heal Yourself After a Marriage Separation

Marriage SeparationThe rupture of a marriage can be an extremely traumatic event. Divorce is common in modern society, but this does not make it any easier to process emotionally. Our article reviews some of the ways that you can move forward after a separation.

Divorce is often compared to a battle because of the emotional toll it takes on all parties involved. Even beyond the emotional component, marriage binds every aspect of our lives – financial pressures, child-rearing, property ownership – to our spouse. Disentangling all this can be tricky.

Many people also struggle to move on romantically after they get a divorce. Certain dating sites may cater to your needs more than others, so it’s worth checking out a Dating Ranking site before you start. While divorce can be tough psychologically, our article examines ways to get through it and use your experience as a chance for personal growth.

Why Do Marriages Fail?

Every relationship is different and faces different struggles. For this reason, divorce definition is highly personal. However, if you look at divorce statistics, there are a few common reasons why couples separate:

  • Lack of Communication
  • Financial Problems
  • Constant Conflicts

You may have experienced one or more of these issues yourself. If not, you probably know someone who has. When it comes to divorce, it’s important to remember that you are not alone. In fact, despite a recent dip, the divorce rate has remained consistently high in many Western countries since the 1960s.

How to Heal from Divorce in a Positive Way

Although it can be hard to recuperate, divorce presents us with a unique opportunity to reshape our lives. To heal and grow effectively, however, we must treat it as such. Divorce care therapists use several methods to get their patients through this difficult period.

  1. Allow Yourself to Grieve

The process of ending a marriage, from moving home to signing the divorce papers, can create a whirlwind of emotion. It’s easy to try and repress these feelings if you want to move on fast or if you’re living a busy life. However, leaving a marriage induces a kind of grief.

After all, you are leaving your old life behind. Try to give yourself time and space to feel this. Fully allowing yourself to grieve will help you feel that you are building something new on top of the old, rather than clinging to the past.

  1. Don’t Let Things Go Spiral

Try and avoid going into denial and allowing practical aspects of separation to overwhelm you. By this, we mean tasks like dealing with lawyers, reading through contracts, and managing practical separation chores. Pretending that divorce isn’t happening won’t make it easier; it’ll just cause the workload – and the emotional load – to spiral.

  1. Center Yourself in the Divorce Experience

Divorce ExperienceMarriage and separation involve two people, but you should remember that you are embarking on a journey that centers on you- even if you did not want a divorce. While it’s natural to fixate on what went wrong, try not to give in to negativity. Instead, try to think about your marriage’s limitations and what you could do now that these are gone. Don’t focus on how your partner has, or is, behaving but on how you can grow from the experience.

  1. Accept Where You Are

During a separation, you may feel frustrated with yourself and what you perceive as your inability to move on. Remember that some degree of analysis and looking back is normal and necessary for understanding your situation. Don’t beat yourself up!

Instead, try to accept the emotional stage you are at on your journey to being divorced. Likewise, if you feel delighted to be free, you don’t have to feel guilty about this. Everybody heals in their own way, and you can take your time to figure out where you’re at.

  1. Make Plans and Focus Forward

Make Plans and Focus ForwardWhile a marriage breakdown can feel like a tragedy, it is also a moment of opportunity if you let yourself see it this way. Part of this is your mindset: trying to focus on things in your life aside from marriage and making time to do things that make you feel happy and positive. However, another part is learning to plan for a better future. You will not bounce back straight away, and you may have to make a significant effort to see anything good in your situation. However, making practical plans for a time when you will feel better is a great way to renew your sense of purpose. You could think about moving home or dating after divorce.

Conclusion

Whether your divorce is volatile or amicable, it is undoubtedly a stressful period in life. Keeping your mind focused on the future and your own positive and productive behaviors can allow you to release some of this burden and reveal your true self. Embrace the change and let yourself grow – it could be the best thing you ever do!

 

About Author: Margaret Cole is an experienced sex therapist and a couple’s counselor. She encourages people to live consciously and realize the best sides of life, relationships, and sex. She could make a practical and positive difference in the lives of people regardless of their origin, status, or gender. Margaret believes we already have a true love from within and with a little time plus effort it can be easily met outside.

The First Holiday After Your Divorce

Divorce

The holidays are here. While most of us enjoy the joy of the season, for those going through or recently having gone through a divorce it can be a freighting challenge. If you are a single adult, you will manage as you have all the trials this far. It may be hard, but life has handed you disappointments, pain, and trials before and you are still standing. This season will be no different because a the divorce. You will still be standing when the calendar page turns to reveal 2021. However, if you are a newly (or soon to be) divorced parent, it will be more difficult.

Is there a right way?

Yes. There is a right way and a wrong way to handle this major change for yourself and your children. In fact, there are many right ways, and wrong ways. The way that works for you and allows you and your family to function and grow is the right way for you. It is up to you to find that way.

Focus on this or that?

Here is the first hurdle. This is the first time you are going to Christmas as a family of three or Hanukkah in your new house. You want it to be great. You want to give your kids the happiest holiday in the history of holidays. How do you do that? Let’s take a look at some options. But first, you need to stop and consider a few things.

  • Consider the children’s ages. If they are under 10 or so, they will adapt to a different holiday menu, tree, or tradition easily. Why? Because they have not been around to know what a tradition is. They probably will still ask for “daddy” or “mommy” Just as they will not just on Christmas but as they will most nights. Have a plan (Facetalk or Skype) and do not make a big deal of it. If they are older than that, they know what they want. Ask them. Consider what you want and come up with a compromise.
  • Have a lot of events planned that you could afford and a calendar that goes right through the new year. Call this your escape plan. This is for when the plan you had exploded leaving the three of you in tears and you wanting to shove a candy cane up someone’s nose, you have a plan B.
  • Do not spend more than you can afford. You cannot depend on anyone helping you out. Yes, the expense is for the kids, but a lot of ex-spouses are jerks.

Now let’s talk about the focus of the holiday. Of course, you want the focus of the holiday to be your children. Or do you? Most parents believe they do. They work their fingers to the bone making Christmas cookies, homemade ornaments, taking the kids to the parades, light-shows, and decorating. If the children are young enough, they don’t get it. Of course, they love lights until something else gets their attention. (Like trying to make them sit on a fat man in a red suit who is yelling, HO HO HO.) In a very little while, Christmas becomes their new normal when they are under two years old.

When the children are a bit older, they love every minute of it. They get tired and if it goes on too long they really want to watch regular TV and eat anything that doesn’t have peppermint in it. But you are being rewarded by this extreme Christmasing. You are taking up the slack. You are giving everything you’ve got to your kids. You are the awe of your girlfriends, co-workers, family, and friends. When you and your children are invited to a Christmas party (and you are invited to every Christmas party) it ends with you surrounded by women dabbing their eyes with tissue telling you how wonderful you are. Your self-esteem is on full, you return home and live another day in Winter Wonderland.

When your children are pre-teens, they are old enough to tell you what they want to do and what they want to do. If you show them the respect to let that happen, then your children really are your focus. That doesn’t mean you can’t put up a tree even if they don’t want to help or you have to miss the Dirty Santa swap at Aunt Charlotte’s house. But, allow them to enjoy what they enjoy. If not, be prepared to be exposed.

At this age, your children will probably tell you some things that you may not know and probably won’t want to hear. You are using them and Christmas to draw attention to yourself. You want the title of Super-Mom. You need the Dumped Mom of the Decade award. You love to wear your little red dress and say, “I just do it for my children.”  This is the Christmas your kids call on that.

You Will Be Fine. Don’t let divorce ruin your Christmas

The main thing you need to remember is, you can do this. You have already done the hard part. You brought the children into the world. You have done what it takes to provide a stable and happy home. This year is just one year of many. You will do some things right and some things you will choose not to do again. Just remind everyone in your life that the adults have to be adults and let the kids be kids. If you can pull that off, everything else is easy.

Sometimes You Have To Learn Defense In A Divorce

Divorce

Sometimes a couple knows for sure they need a divorce. They know it is time to cut those ties and change directions in their lives. But while taking those steps, they begin to feel awkward. Usually, it is because you realize that you have long ago assumed the responsibility for something in your partner’s life that is not yours to carry. It is most often the responsibility to make them feel accepted and happy. Sometimes, it is the responsibility of making sure they have the money your family needs to carry on the week without worry.

Happiness

Obviously, no one can make anyone happy. When they come home we can flutter around them, asking about their day. We can bring their slippers and robe. We can bring them their dinner and drink. When we go out, we can give them all of our attention. At the end of the night, we have made him look like our God.

We are so good at pretending that he tells us when he is alone, he feels sick. He feels like when we are unable to be together he feels his heart will stop, at any moment. We are not making him feel happy. We are helping him fake it out. How hard it will be for him to open himself to another woman.

Money

It is rare for most couples to handle finances together. Usually, one person will handle all of the money. The partner may be told to not use the debit card or a few days or to lay off the American Express this month. But, that partner has little knowledge of what is in checking, savings, on credit cards, or how much debt they are in.

When the divorce is filed, they find themselves very lonely because they have not had to socialize for a long time. They have not been responsible for their share of being a partner.

When the divorce is filed, they suddenly find themselves unprepared to be financially responsible. It is like starting over. They do not know where to begin. It is frightening. They are not sure what has to be paid and when. What bills are on auto-draft? How far is the kid’s tuition paid?

They come back to you

Even though divorced people hate each other on tv, most of the time they do not. You are confident in yourself. You have carried yourself and your mate all these years so you do not feel a crash and burn coming. You do not question your abilities or your value to your dissolved marriage.

Your ex-spouse will gather the embers of their self-worth and bring it to you. You will listen to them over coffee as they tell you how lonely they are and how they can’t figure out how to budget the money. And you will reassure them, this will pass.

Don’t offer yourself!

As easy as it is to help them, you have to keep a clear line between you. This is why they make counselors. This is why they make financial advisors. You are divorced. You are relieved of duty. Shake it off. You no longer need to help this adult person. To them keeping them happy and balancing their books equals you keeping them happy and that means you still care.

Points of view

Different people read their actions differently. A thank you for helping someone get through a lonely day could be an invitation to your favorite restaurant for dinner. If you accept, you see it as one good turn repaying another. It’s no big deal. It shows two adults can be friends even if they were married to each other. They may see it like two adults hanging out together because neither of you could stand not being together on such a beautiful day. The thought of calling it a day was just too sad so you went out to dinner before you finally forced yourself apart.

Conclusion

Divorce is difficult. During a divorce, you will go through every emotion you have. Your heart will be tested and tried again and again. No matter what your grounds for divorce, you will have days of grieving and days of joy. The best thing you can do is to keep your nutrition up, keep yourself hydrated, and guard your emotions. Remember, this too will pass.

 

Feature photo credit: Vera Arsic

Should You File For Divorce Or Legal Separation?

Should You File For Divorce Or Legal Separation

There are many couples right now who are questioning their ability to maintain their marriage. Truthfully, marriage is difficult. No matter how much you want to have a strong marriage, it is hard work. Even when you are fully committed, sometimes marriages fail. However, there are times that it is advisable not to file for divorce. Sometimes, it is better to separate, but keep the marriage in place until your situation has improved. One way to accomplish that is by filing a legal separation.

Stress

Obviously, the world is in a state of stress and panic. COVID-19 is infecting people and we are still searching for a cure. Millions of people are sick, and millions more have died. People from all walks of life have lost their jobs. Many schools are closed and many children are forced to homeschool. Unemployment is at record highs. Employers are forced to have employees work remotely, most with fewer hours. Many companies have shut their doors permanently.

While people are trying to figure out how to survive this pandemic and prepare for what comes next, the strain often puts spouses against one another. Does this mean their marriage is over? Maybe, or maybe not. Rushing to divorce court will only add more stress to a stressful life and more expense to a strained financial situation.

Many Faces Of Grief

Experts that work in industries that often face death know, grief has many faces. No two people face grief the same. Spouses, family members, and friends often do not know how to help a loved one get through death. However, death is not the only reason people grieve.

Loss of a job, marriage, security, and even a dream can bring on grief. This kind of grief is especially challenging for a couple who are living through devastating times (such as a pandemic).

Many Faces Of GriefPhoto credit: Nathan Cowley

How Can Legal Separation Help?

Legal separation is very much like a divorce. It is a legal document that you and your spouse have agreed to that divides your property, and establishes your separate living arrangements. You also arrange visitation for the children, child support, and alimony payments. However, you are still legally married.

How does this help?

You will “take a break” from each other. You do not dissolve your marriage, but you live as if you have. Neither of you can marry anyone else while you are legally separated. Often, people find, when the stress is relaxed and they have some time away from their spouse, the love they had is still there. They do not want to start over. They just needed some time apart. Then it is just a matter of petitioning the court to terminate the separation.

Other ways Legal Separations help:

  • This is a way to live apart if your religion does not allow divorce
  • You can still get the tax breaks by filing jointly (in most states)
  • You can still take advantage of your spouse’s insurance benefits
  • Maintain your marriage for the 10 year minimum for certain Social Security benefits
  • If you live in a state that requires a separation period before a divorce, this protects your interests
  • If you decide to file for divorce in the future, the procedure is very easy.
  • If there is something in the legal separation that does not work for you, your attorney can address it in the divorce papers before you go to court.

A legal separation is a step that can put you in a good position before you rush into a divorce. Like a divorce, you will see ads claiming you can file them yourself. However, there are laws in certain states that you may not know about. These laws are there to protect you. That is why you need an attorney. A simple oversight could cost you money that you could have collected for the rest of your life. Don’t make that mistake. Let an attorney file your legal separation. After that, you will have plenty of time to see how it works for you.

You may want to go forward with a divorce or you may want to stay legally separated for a while. It is your choice. The one thing you will not have to do is decide during the current stress of the nation. You are safe and secure legally and emotionally until you are ready to make a move. At that time, it is a stressless and simple act.

Feature photo credit: Vera Arsic

It’s a Pandemic – Choose Your Battles

Divorce? Choose Your Battles

Maybe you have already filed for divorce or maybe you are still in the process. You have worked out an arrangement you both can live with concerning visitations. Good for you. However, you need to remember that under the best of situations, visitations cause major problems in divorced families. Once your divorce agreement has been decided, it is very important that each of you follow it to the letter.

Enter Pandemic

We would all like to think we are reasonable adults when it comes to the well-being of our children. We are under the instruction of our town leaders to keep our children in our home during this time in the pandemic. We are taking all the steps possible to limit exposure to germs including the wearing of a mask,  deep cleaning of their toys, and the use of anti-bacterial wipes.

Our ex-spouse does not feel these steps are necessary. They feel the children need to be on the playground with other children. They believe the pandemic is being “exaggerated” by the media.

Your divorce says the children spend 4 days per week with you and 3 days per week with them.

Common Sense?

You are not the first parent who has read something like this and thought they would just keep the children home, for their health. However, most judges frown on changing visitation rights. You can pay your attorney to fight this cause.

Before this blows up in your faces, try to find some common ground. Now is the time to put down the boxing gloves and try to reason with each other. Don’t get lost in the battle of what is media-hype, how bad the pandemic is, and who is to blame. Instead, agree to disagree and go to ways you can solve this problem. You may have to get creative, but you can do it.

Common SensePhoto credit: Andrea Piacquadio

Ideas

Here are a few ideas that can get you started. Keep your eye on the goal. The goal is to let everyone spend time with the child without exposing them to the virus.

(Note: Be sure you speak to your attorney before making any changes)

  • Agree to Skype visits or IPhone visits each night. This can include storybook time, watching a movie together, or playing various games.
  • Let the parent have their visit to your home a couple of days per week. Let them have the run of the house while you busy yourself in another room.
  • Agree to meet the spouse with the child at a playground early in the day while it is less crowded. That way you can ensure their mask is worn and their hands are cleaned when they are finished.

Offer to keep up with the number of days they missed and when the pandemic is over schedule a vacation to make them up. Be sure to record all of the arrangements.

You’re The Parent

At the end of the day, you are the parent. You must do what you must do. We are not giving you any advice to change the visitation of your divorce. This is very serious. This is not a decision to be taken lightly. We are suggesting that you open a dialog with your ex and you try to work things out like adults. At the end of the day, your child is the most important person in this situation. Again, keep good records and be sure to talk to your attorney. You have to protect your child, and you need to protect yourself as well.

Can Your Divorce Be Denied?

Divorce

In our society divorce is a common word. The days of divorce causing scandal and shame are long gone. However, when a family goes through a divorce they find it is anything but a normal everyday occurrence that people go through.

State Laws

Every state has laws regarding divorce. All the states in the United States allow a couple to file for a no-fault divorce. This means you agree that the marriage is over. Your differences cannot be reconciled and your marriage cannot be saved. Some states only allow no-fault divorce. They do not allow the option of filing for a divorce that assigns blame against one partner to the other. These states include:

  • California
  • Colorado
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • Oregon
  • Washington
  • Wisconsin

If you live in a different state and you wish to file an at-fault divorce, you need to contact your attorney. There are several grounds for an at-fault divorce that will hold up in court. They include, but are not limited to:

  • Adultery
  • Incest
  • Imprisonment
  • Bigamy
  • Abuse

It is important to note that filing for an at-fault divorce requires proof that will be submitted to the judge. It is also important that you and your children (if you have children) remain safe while you are seeking a divorce. An attorney is the best place to begin. He can advise you on what you need and how the procedures will progress so you can make a plan to be safe during the process.

Why would the judge turn the divorce down?

A judge is in a unique position. While he is charged by the American people to listen to both sides and make a fair and impartial judgment, he is also required by law to ensure all legalities of the case are met.

When a person is sued for divorce, he or she must be served with legal documents that explain in detail what is happening. This is not handled over the phone or verbally. The papers explain where they need to be and the date and time. The results of the summons will affect their lives. This could include their visitation with their children, where they will live, how much they will pay in support, and what they will take with them from the joint property they own. If they have been properly served and they do not show up, the requests of the person suing are usually granted. But, what if the person suing did not properly serve them? In that case, the divorce is usually denied. 

There are several requirements in a divorce filing. Each form has a purpose and none of them can be overlooked. If you miss a required form the judge may dismiss your case and deny your divorce.

If during your filing process it is discovered that you do not meet the state residency requirements to file in the state where you filed, the judge will deny your divorce.

If you have not shown accurate reasons why you are dividing the custody/visitation of the children (and sometimes pets), property, and assets of the family the way you presented them, the judge will usually deny your divorce. A judge is not going to be unfair and let one person have the lion’s share of everything earned in a marriage.

Fraud

When we think f fraud, we think of very high-level business people “cooking the books” trying to get away with not paying taxes or sliding sales under the radar. The same happens with marriages. When someone has a long term marriage and they have built a successful business, they may start to worry when the winds of romance seem to shift. Perhaps they feel divorce is in the air. Whatever the reason, they begin opening accounts that their spouse (and CPA) knows nothing about. They build it up until it is substantial. When those dollars are exposed, a judge will halt the divorce and usually order a complete audit.

Fraud will cost you the divorce you are seeking, even on a lower level. This is rare but not unheard of. This means you have no intention of breaking up. You are going through a divorce so you can benefit in some way. One example would be, there is a program that will send in workers to do home repairs at no cost for divorced women over 60 that are unable to afford them. You file for divorce and they repair your roof, paint your house, and pave your drive-way. You use their reference to get free food and money for your electric bill. This is a fraud. The judge will not grant you a divorce. Further, you could be facing charges.

Note: In some cases, fraud will result in an annulment instead of a divorce.

Children

The judge will not grant your divorce until you have worked out all the issues regarding child support and child custody. You can go through mediation and arbitration for help, but you need to have it hashed out or no divorce is going to happen. Your next step will be going to trial to get it settled and that is not good for anyone.

Spouse won’t sign the papers

This is a delay tactic that will not work for very long. If you have done everything you are supposed to do, you may have to have your spouse formally served with the outline of everything included. If your partner does not respond or if they do not show up for court, the judge can approve a default divorce.

In order to avoid the delays, the “do-overs” and the mistakes, hire an attorney. It will be much easier and will reduce your stress level. Let the attorney do what he is trained to do. Let this difficult time in your life pass as easily as possible so you can begin the next chapter of your life.

What amount will my Divorce Process cost?

divorce

What amount will my separation or Divorce, adjustment, paternity, civil lawsuit cost? 

I have posted this inquiry by each imminent customer to whom I talk. It is an inquiry I can’t reply to them. On the off chance that you have a level expense sort of case (criminal safeguard for instance), a legal counselor reveals to you the level charge. On the off chance that you have an unforeseen charge case (personal injury for instance), for you, the most part has no forthright expenses. The fundamental inquiry in those cases is how much will you gain for your physical issue or misfortune. In my general vicinity of work that I handle are; separate, authority, paternity, alteration, family law, civil prosecution, we work at an hourly rate. Most legal counselors, including me, request a forthright retainer. We ask that the retainer be reestablished when it is about exhausted. I don’t represent all attorneys.

What is the reason can’t address the inquiry?

There are such a large number of factors. For instance, a few customers get in touch with me with questions each day, by email, text, or call. They feel on edge, uncertain, and loaded with questions. They require a more amount of my time than customers who reach me once in a while. The restricting party and their attorneys are other huge factors whereupon I can’t put a cost. A few cases are very unfriendly and hostile. If this is valid about the contradicting party and their legal counselor, more movements, court hearings and show make certain to come. This sort of direction is all the more expensive. Different cases might be perplexing (multi-million dollar divorces, organizations to be esteemed, and so forth.), yet if everybody is agreeable and there is little feeling in the lawful procedure, the expense is significantly less. On the opposite side, cases that may show up little (next to no benefits, maybe even no kids) can turn out to be pricey over pets, or contention of the guideline. Through the span of my vocation up to this point, I can consider numerous cases that were over the top expensive, required a ton of my time and vitality, were passionate and hard for my customer, for reasons I was unable to understand from the start. It boils down to fundamental human instinct and how that converts into my time on a case.

There are so many different legal courses from point A to point B

There are such large numbers of various legitimate courses from point A (when I meet with a customer) to point B when the case was over, and I don’t have the foggiest idea about the way toward the start. It wants to remain before a thick woods, one that I know and know about, however, one that has an excessive number of points and ways, also the trees that can be used, to ascend, over, and through, to utilize one relationship. Some of the time course is immediate, with little reason for court activity, prosecution as movements, pleadings, hearings, and so forth. Different occasions, the course has such large numbers of unanticipated exciting bends in the road, you would not accept the narratives, regardless of whether I was to spread them out for you. A few cases take years & some take a month. I comprehend this isn’t continually consoling for individuals to hear when they initially meet with attorneys. Most people do not easily trust attorneys in the first position, so naturally, this is a frequently addressed point of conversation.

What you can do is look for a Divorce attorney to go for 

What you can do is search for a legal advisor ready to go over this with you. I have thought that it was useful to transparently discuss this subject, and from that point address ridiculously. Any individual issue has numerous potential methods of settling. Here and there no reaction is suggested because things may fall set up all alone. This is more affordable. Some of the time intercession or correspondence is a potential strategy, and once in awhile suit is vital, prosecution being the most costly course of all. On the off chance that you have a feeling that you have some command over how and what decisions you and your legal advisor make, this will make for a superior encounter. You can’t control the contradicting party or their lawyer(s). You should comprehend this to comprehend why I, and most legal counselors, can’t reveal to you how much your case will eventually cost. If you are conversing with an attorney that appears to have a deep understanding of your case, how the opposite side will be, what the Judge will choose (the exemplary “know everything”), this is most likely not a decent attorney to hold. It isn’t straightforward. No attorney, or individual, can know the future or decisions that others will make.

Approach your choice of divorce attorney with all of this in your mind

You can control your side of the activity, expecting you have a family law legal advisor you can converse with, comprehend, and settle on educated choices on the procedure and pushing ahead at some random time. This is the best cost control you have. Approach your decision of separation attorney in light of the entirety of this, and I expect that this point of view will support you, and maybe lessen your lawful expense.

 

 

About Author: Russell D. Knight has been practicing family law as a Chicago divorce lawyer since 2006. Russell D. Knight agreeably settle extreme cases while staying a solid promoter for his customer’s advantages. He is authorized to provide legal counsel in Florida and Illinois. Russell keeps up a training in the two states and has a full staff of lawyers and paralegals in both Chicago, Illinois and Naples, Florida.

Reasons a DIY Your Divorce Is Not a Good Idea

Divorce

If you look back over society, you can see that what people accept as “normal” tends to change. As recent as the 1950s, people were expected to graduate from school, get married, and begin a family. The generation that required marriage, did not look kindly on divorce.

In the 1960s everything changed. Teenagers and young adults rebelled. They insisted on “free love.” The idea was everyone should be allowed to love anyone they wanted to without a lifelong commitment.

Over the next three decades, the marriage dynamics continued to evolve. This grew to include living together before marriage, same-sex marriages, interracial and interethnic marriage.

Unfortunately, the freedom that brought back matrimony also brought acceptance for divorce. Currently, 39% of marriages end in divorce. No one is ashamed. It is a fact of life and the price of evolution.

Courts

Perhaps because divorce is so easily accepted and information is so easily attainable, people have started using their computer’s file for divorce on their own. They are told where to find the paperwork and they fill out the papers, file them with the courts and in so many days, the divorce should be final. But, is that a good idea? Below, we are going to tell you a few important reasons why DIY divorce may not be in your best interest.

  • What is fair and normal?

You do not get the benefit of expert advice from an attorney to explain what is considered normal. You may not know about the laws pertaining to residency or how child support should be determined. What is taken into consideration when parenting plans are prepared? You may accept a plan to keep everyone happy, that is completely unfair to you. Later, you may regret being so accommodating.

  • Stress

The legal system is nothing if not confusing. There are a lot of details that must be contended with. Even attorneys have trouble keeping everything in order when they are new. You need to be aware of the state laws and requirements and be sure you have completed every form and filed everything on time. This task in itself is worth having an attorney on your side.

  • Court

With the proper care, you possibly could get a divorce and never go to court. But usually, a court visit is required. Besides the issues you can face with forms being missed or filled out incorrectly, you have to work around the judge’s schedule. The courts are very busy. The fact is, you have a good chance of facing delays. That could result in the forms having to be re-worked, re-filed. Your time and the time of your family is not an issue that the court considers.

  • It can cost you more money

You began this DIY divorce to save money. You were sure you and your spouse were reasonable and you could work things out. But things can take turn for the worse. You may end up fighting for custody or fair visitation. You may end up in a fight over an unfair property settlement. In order to be financially secure and to protect your children, you may have to then hire an attorney to help you. Unfortunately, some things are not reversible.

  • No mediator, shoulder to lean on, back up

When there is a divorce some people can get real ugly. They know they have things that you want. They will use these things to their advantage. They will bully you, threaten you, and push you around during this stressful time. Just when you think you have it all worked out, they start again. With an attorney, you have the support you need from someone who has no emotional investment in the transaction. They know the law and they will not be bullied.

  • The agreement may not be binding

You and your partner may have come to an agreement together. You are both comfortable and you believe everything is in order. The problem is, neither of you knows the law. While you are comfortable, the wording of the agreement may not be legally binding. If problems come up in the future as the two of you go on with your lives, you may find that your divorce is not enforceable in court. An experienced attorney would have prevented this problem and ensured your divorce would have held up even 10-years down the road.

Divorce is difficult. We all want to get through it as painlessly as possible. We want to save money and draw on the good nature of our spouse and just charge through it. But, it is rarely that easy. While you can do your own divorce, it doesn’t mean you should. Make your life easier and hire an attorney so when your divorce is final, you know it is actually final. Then you can move on without worry that it will ever come back to haunt you.

I’m Ready to Get Divorced. What Do I Need to Do Next?

Divorce

When you got married, you probably expected your relationship to last for the rest of your life. Unfortunately, relationships can break down for a variety of reasons. You may have found that you and your spouse disagree about how to manage your finances, how your children will be raised, or any number of other issues, leading to ongoing arguments and conflicts that have become impossible to resolve. Your decision to pursue a divorce may be based on specific problems in your marriage, such as infidelity, or you and your spouse may simply have grown apart and are no longer happy in your relationship.

Regardless of the reason why your marriage is coming to an end, you will want to make sure to take the right steps as you proceed with the divorce process. Your first priority should be to hire a divorce attorney. A skilled and experienced divorce lawyer can help you understand the legal issues involved in your divorce, and they can provide you with representation to help you achieve an outcome that will allow you to move on successfully once the divorce process is complete.

Getting Ready for Divorce

Before you begin the divorce process, it is a good idea to sit down and think through your plans. By considering what you want your life to look like once your marriage has ended, you can set achievable goals and begin taking steps toward making the changes that will come with your divorce.

Some of the issues that you will want to consider include your finances and your living situation. Do you earn enough income to be able to support yourself, or do you rely on your spouse’s income to meet your family’s needs? Will you be moving to a new residence, or do you expect to continue living in your family’s home? By understanding the income you earn and the regular expenses that you will need to cover, you will be able to make realistic plans and create a budget that will allow you to live comfortably. By doing so, you can also determine whether you can ask for your spouse to pay you financial support or whether you may be required to pay spousal support.

If you and your spouse have children together, you will also need to address how the two of you will share in the responsibility of raising them, and you will need to determine where they will live most of the time. Do you expect to have primary custody of your children, or will you and your spouse share custody? Will you be able to work out an arrangement in which your children live primarily at one parent’s home, or will they spend equal amounts of time with each parent? Even if you are not able to discuss these issues with your spouse, you can think about how you believe these issues should be handled, and you can prepare to address them during the divorce process.

Gathering Information

Once you have a good understanding of your goals for your divorce, you can start making more concrete plans for the divorce process by obtaining all the necessary information about your finances and property. Since all of the assets and debts you and your spouse own will need to be divided between the two of you, gaining a full understanding of your family’s finances can ensure that these matters are handled correctly.

The financial information you will need to gather includes anything that describes what you earn, what you own, and what you owe. All sources of income for you and your spouse should be considered, and you will want to make a full accounting of all of the marital property that you own together, as well as any non-marital property owned by either spouse. Finally, you will need to gather all applicable information about any debts that you owe, including credit cards, home mortgages, or auto loans.

While you may not be able to access all of the information needed, gathering as much information as possible before beginning the divorce process can help you prepare to address the issues that you will need to resolve. Understanding the monetary value of your assets can ensure that you will be able to divide this property fairly, and knowing the amount of income you and your spouse earn can help you prepare to address issues such as child support or spousal maintenance.

In addition to financial information, you may also want to begin compiling information that may be necessary when addressing child custody issues. If you expect to have primary custody of your children, you may want to obtain their medical records or school records to show that you have played an important role in making decisions about how they have been raised. You may also wish to make notes showing when you provide care for your children or participate in their activities, while recording any other information that shows that you are closely involved in their lives.

Filing for Divorce

Once you are fully ready to go ahead with your divorce, you can begin the process of dissolving your marriage by filing a petition for divorce in court. Depending on the state where you live, your petition may state the grounds for divorce, or the reason(s) you wish to end your marriage. While some states allow fault-based grounds for divorce, such as infidelity or abandonment, most states allow for “no-fault” divorce. In these cases, your divorce petition will simply state that you and your spouse have irreconcilable differences that have caused your marriage to break down beyond repair.

Your divorce petition will also include requests for temporary relief in which you will ask for decisions to be made about how certain matters will be handled during the divorce process. For example, you may request that you have exclusive use of your marital home, that your children will live primarily with you, or that your spouse pay you child support or spousal support. After your spouse has filed a response to your divorce petition, the judge in your case may grant some or all of your requests, depending on what they believe is the appropriate way to handle these matters while your divorce is pending.

By considering all of these issues and taking steps to file your divorce petition properly, you can be better prepared to move forward with the process of ending your marriage. Working with a skilled family law attorney will ensure that you have considered all of the legal and financial aspects of your divorce, and your divorce lawyer can advocate for your interests and help achieve your goals as you prepare to move on to the next stage of your life.

 

About author: Steven H. Mevorah is the founder of Mevorah Law Offices LLC and began his practice in 1979. Mr. Mevorah brings significant experience to bear in achieving positive results for his clients. With offices in Lombard, Bloomingdale, Chicago, and Naperville, Mr. Mevorah makes his practice accessible to all of those in need throughout the Chicagoland area and surrounding counties.

The Difference Between a Divorce and An Annulment

Annulment

When we marry someone we love, we hope that the union is forever. We hope our love will grow and as it does, we will put all of our efforts into cultivating our trust, dedication, and loyalty to each other. However, sometimes it simply doesn’t happen. Sometimes, we grow in different ways, and sometimes our love grows cold. Sometimes, there is nothing that can save the marriage and it is reasonable and agreeable to legally end it.

File for divorce

When a couple decides to end their marriage, they usually contact a divorce attorney and file for a divorce. This is the most common way to end your marriage. Both spouses will hire an attorney. A value will be set on the family assets and they will be divided. The couple will work on issues such as who will keep the family home or if it will be sold. Here are other very important things that will be decided:

  • Who will have custody of the children
  • Visitation of the children
  • Who will have custody and care of the family pets
  • The amount of alimony to be paid and which spouse must pay it
  • The amount of child support to be paid
  • Who will pay for medical insurance for the children
  • How retirement funds will be divided

As you can see, the majority of the considerations are about money. Children cost a lot of money to raise. Just because parents are divorcing, doesn’t mean the children should have to suffer. The children are already dealing with the loss of a parent in the home, they should not have to struggle with the loss of their activities as well.

Annulment

There is a second way to end a marriage. This is a less common way, but it is a legal way. Further, when you seek a divorce, you record states that you were married but divorced after “X” number of years. An annulment voids your marriage. Your record reflects that you have never married. There are a few reasons why the court will consider an annulment. Again, the end result is a civil annulment, which means in the eyes of the law, your marriage never happened. They take this very seriously. You will need to contact your lawyer for a complete list, but here are some of the more common reasons:

  • Fraud
    • You were lied to about your partner’s age which caused or could cause legal problems.
    • Your partner was already married to someone else. They did not obtain a divorce, nor did they tell you about their marriage
  • Concealment
    • Your partner hid a felony record from you
    • Your partner was in an illegal crime ring which put you in danger
  • Important Misunderstanding
    • One of you did not or do not want to have children. This deal breaker was not discussed before the wedding
    • One of you are impotent and did not tell your partner, preventing them from being able to have a child in the marriage
    • Incest – the discovery that the two of you are close family relatives
  • Lack of consent
    • Being forced into marriage by the spouse, parent, or physical force

Annulments are governed by the laws of the state. When the state rules on an annulment it is legally settled. However, many people feel the need to have their church rule on the annulment as well. That is certainly your right. However, regardless of the rulings of the church, once the state has annulled the marriage, it will forever be annulled in the government systems.

In the Catholic Church, a diocesan tribunal hears your case rather than a court. You present facts that help them decide if the marriage was less than a covenant for life. You have to show them that it was lacking in some way from the beginning. It can be based on dishonesty, immaturity, and most of the reasons listed above. Either spouse can request the annulment.

If the annulment is granted, the spouses will be allowed to marry again (since the first time never happened) in the Catholic church.

Note: State annulment and church annulment have three things in common.

  • The original marriage never happened
  • The couple can remarry
  • The is no question to the legitimacy of the children

If you have questions, contact your attorney. The sooner you act, the sooner you are free from this world-changing event in your life.