More than 90 percent of people marry by the age of 50; however, about 40 to 50 percent of marriages end in a divorce in the United States. Statistics show that there is one divorce every 36 seconds in America – that’s huge! That means that there are about 876,000 divorces a year.
Coping with a divorce can be difficult for both partners, but there are instances when there is no other option but a divorce. Even though lawyers and judges can’t help people come to emotional terms with the divorce or their sufferings due to a divorce, they can make the process smoother and less painful.
When it comes to breaking off a marriage, couples have many options such as divorce, legal separation, and annulment. If you have decided to part ways with your civil partner, it is better to ensure which option works best for you. For example, if you are bound by religious reasons, a legal separation might be a better option than a divorce.
However, each of these options comes with a set of complex laws, and you should seek the advice of your divorce attorney before filing a case in a court of law. For instance, St. Louis divorce and legal separation attorneys are less likely to advise you in favor of filing an annulment case, as there are limited grounds to seek an annulment in Missouri.
Apart from helping you file for a divorce, a divorce and legal separation attorney can help you in several other ways. Let’s see how.
How Can Divorce Attorney Help You
Divorce is often the most emotionally and financially stressful time for couples, so you need someone who can provide you with the right advice. Here are some ways in which a divorce attorney can help you, apart from filing a divorce case and representing you in court:
1. Explanation of the Grounds of Divorce
Different states have established different grounds for divorce based on which spouses can file a petition in the court to put an end to their marriage. Divorces are generally filed based on fault and no-fault grounds; a divorce attorney would be able to help you determine whether you should file a divorce based on fault grounds or not. Whether you will receive spousal support, and the amount, depends on what type of divorce case you file. An attorney can also help you evaluate the other options, such as separation and annulment.
2. Financial Decisions
If you have been married for a long time, say for 10 years or more, you might be eligible to get a portion of your spouse’s pension or Social Security. If your partner earns more than you, you might also be eligible to get alimony. In many situations, you might also have to support your spouse. If both of you have built a business together, you will be entitled to get a portion of the profit.
An attorney will also help you to get the marital estate-distributed properly. Oftentimes, it so happens that one of the spouse handles all the money and assets, and the other has no idea about the finances, debts, and assets. If such is the case with you, the attorney will help you collect the records and locate the assets, so that the settlement is done properly.
When filing for a divorce, all these factors come into play; your attorney can explain all the options and the benefits offered by them.
3. Property Division Advice
A divorce attorney would explain how the property would be treated once you get divorced. When it comes to division of property, the state would divide the property based on who brought what into the marriage. There can be other circumstances, as well. The division of community property would be somewhat different from equitable distribution; to understand exactly how the property should be divided, you need professional help.
4. Help with Custodial Matters
Divorce cases become even more difficult if you have children, since most cases lead to custody cases. A number of factors are considered when deciding which parent must get the custody of the child. An attorney will help you understand the factors and how to go about filing a custody case, so that you win the custody of your child.
One more thing that needs to be considered is ‘child support.’ If you win the custody of your child, you may be entitled to get child support from your ex-spouse. To understand whether you are eligible for child support and how much you should get, you need to consult an experienced attorney.
Often, the parent responsible to pay the child support will put up arguments to lower the amount of money to be paid. In such cases, your divorce attorney will help to defend you and get the right amount of child support.
5. Negotiate a Settlement
If you are not willing to file a divorce case in the court and still get separated, your divorce attorney might help you negotiate a settlement with your spouse. When settling a divorce out of court, you need to talk to your spouse’s attorney to make sure that everything goes on smoothly. Since divorce casts an emotional turmoil on people, it can become difficult for you to negotiate. An attorney can be of great help in this matter.
6. Anticipate the Legal Issues Arising Out of Divorce
It is almost impossible for people to anticipate the legal issues that might arise out of their divorce, even if it is their second or third divorce. An experienced and skilled divorce and separation attorney can help you identify the potential troubles that can arise later on, and find solutions for them. With help of their years of experience, the divorce attorneys know how to handle specific divorce cases, so as to ensure minimum hassles for their clients before and after the separation.
People often choose to settle their divorce cases themselves; however, many of these cases end up in severe legal battles, since many issues are not addressed properly. On the contrary, a divorce attorney can make the entire process less emotional. There are many facets of a divorce case, and it is best to let a divorce attorney address all of them professionally.
Depending upon the type of divorce case filed (whether fault or no-fault), the divorce attorney can also help you get the protection that you need during the trial. Moreover, spouses lie about facts, so that they can get more of the financial share or pay less for spousal or child care support. In such a case, an attorney will help you dig the actual data and produce it in the court, so that you get the share you are eligible for and the right amount of spousal or child care.
A divorce case does not have to take an emotional toll on you if you are opting to get separated for the right reasons. Hire an experienced attorney and reduce the amount of stress significantly.