904 Family Law http://904familylaw.com 904FamilyLaw.com Wed, 07 Sep 2016 20:03:46 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.6.5 Changes in Need and Changes in Ability to pay (alimony) http://904familylaw.com/ability-to-pay-alimony/ Wed, 07 Sep 2016 20:03:46 +0000 http://904familylaw.com/?p=314 In a marriage of two, there is sometimes one spouse who holds the economic upper hand over the other. This economic upper hand may or may not be up to the level of disparity. Yet, if two people are in...

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In a marriage of two, there is sometimes one spouse who holds the economic upper hand over the other. This economic upper hand may or may not be up to the level of disparity. Yet, if two people are in a relationship and one of them is the bread winner of the family, then the other may face financial uncertainty in their future if they decide to call it quits.

To eradicate an underlying fear of economic fear and enabling the spouses to make decisions about the future of their relationships, there is a concept of Alimony payments. This is also referred to simply as spousal support. These are payments made by the economically established spouse to the other spouse to help them survive post-divorce.

Alimony payments are decided alongside the rest of the Divorce case. Yet, as your Jacksonville divorce attorney will tell you, this alimony is not always set in stone. There can be modifications in the order on two distinct grounds; (1) a change in need of the spouse getting the alimony payments, and (2) a change in the ability of the spouse making the payments.

Changes in Need

The first section of modifications concerns itself with a change in the need. This refers to the need of the ex-spouse getting the payments. A case is decided by taking into account certain facts of the case that were prevalent at the time. Yet circumstances can change, one can get injured, get terminated from their job, or become involved in a supportive relationship, etc. All of which can result in the modification of the alimony payment.

If the spouse making the payment feels that there has been a substantial change of circumstances in the need of the spouse being granted the alimony payments, they can make use of their Jacksonville divorce attorney to seek a modification order. The same can be done by the spouse receiving the payments if they feel that their situation has changed and they are in need of a greater share of alimony.

The law is not rigid in Jacksonville. The courts and the Judges understand that it is hard for two people to find themselves in the same financial situation for their lifetime. This is why need based changes in Alimony can be made at any time after the divorce ruling has been passed.

Changes in Ability to Pay

This section of modification refers to the spouse making the payments. If there is a situation where the spouse who’s being required to make the alimony payments experiences a significant change in their income, they may contact a Family Lawyer in Jacksonville to have their payment amount modified. Vice versa if a spouse receiving the payments believes that alimony payments they were granted is less than what should have been awarded owing to the current ability of the spouse to pay, they may also make use of a Jacksonville family lawyer.

If you are looking for a Family Lawyer in Jacksonville Fl to take up your modification of an alimony case, contact us today!

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Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements http://904familylaw.com/prenuptial-postnuptial-agreements/ Thu, 25 Aug 2016 13:56:04 +0000 http://904familylaw.com/?p=305 When two people are getting married, most don’t end up thinking about their rights and safeguarding their interests at the time. Most of the people are too occupied in the now to care about these things. Yet, they tend to...

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When two people are getting married, most don’t end up thinking about their rights and safeguarding their interests at the time. Most of the people are too occupied in the now to care about these things. Yet, they tend to end up kicking themselves over the missed opportunities. Some people who are aware of their rights and interest will contact their Jacksonville family lawyer and have them draft a prenuptial agreement.

These agreements will be agreed to by both parties. A common perception is that you cannot enter an agreement once you have gotten hitched. However, once you have been married, it isn’t too late to safe guard your interests and you can still get into a postnuptial agreement.

The Difference between Prenuptial Agreements and Postnuptial Agreements

In essence, both prenuptial agreements and postnuptial agreements are similar. Here, the document is carefully drafted by a Jacksonville family lawyer on both sides. The agreement will be agreed to by both parties and executed by a signature from both the spouses.

The core issues that are often outlined in the agreements will be more of less the same. The agreements are likely to talk about the following issues:

  • Division of Assets
  • Spousal/Alimony payments
  • Division of Child custody between the two parents
  • The State of the Business
  • The State of the Marital Home
  • Distribution of marital property

Not only are the two agreements similar in terms of the core issues covered, they are also similar in terms of the goal(s) that they set out to achieve. The primary goal of both of these agreements is to avoid long fought battles in courts where each spouse is flanked by their own Jacksonville divorce attorney.

Benefits of Getting Into Such Agreements

There are a number of benefits that are available to both the spouses if they get into these agreements, both pre and postnuptial agreements ensure that both the spouses know what they will have at the end of the relationship if they decide to call it quits. This ensures for little or no litigation battles.

There are other benefits of prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. For most business people who have put their sweat and hard work into their company, they want to make sure that their business is protected. A marriage to them that has the potential to break down and cause division of assets can be potential financial hazard. Pre and postnuptial agreements help business people and others that have complex financial arrangements with their partners to go ahead with their marriage without having to fear for the state of their assets.

A prior or post marriage agreement will safe guard their business interests and outline the amount that each partner is going to get if and when the relationship cannot be carried forward.

Instead of hiring a Jacksonville divorce attorney to fight for your rights post-divorce, you can hire one before the agreement is being drafted to ensure that your rights are protected.

If you are looking for a good lawyer in Jacksonville contact us today!

 

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Remarriage and Cohabitation http://904familylaw.com/remarriagecohabitation/ Wed, 17 Aug 2016 13:58:53 +0000 http://904familylaw.com/?p=301 Remarriage/Cohabitation is a vast topic that has the ability of affecting the spouse’s prior divorce case and its alimony payments, as well as, giving rise to a new legal headache. When a couple decides to call it quits in their...

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Remarriage/Cohabitation is a vast topic that has the ability of affecting the spouse’s prior divorce case and its alimony payments, as well as, giving rise to a new legal headache. When a couple decides to call it quits in their relationship, they are accepting that it could not work between them. This may be for one of a number of different reasons. However, once the decision has been made, the spouses are free to embark on their lives. They can remarry if they want, or cohabitate.

What they choose to do is at their discretion. However, if you consult your Jacksonville divorce attorney, they will tell you the legal requirements with regards to these issues.

Is Remarriage a Good Option?

Before one is able to remarry, it is recommended that they contact their Jacksonville divorce lawyer. This is because a remarriage can affect a number of different aspects in your previous divorce case. The primary factor that is generally affected by your decision to remarry is the termination of alimony, if you are receiving alimony. If a spouse is married to another spouse, the assumption by the court will be that the spouse has moved on in their life.

When they have started a new life, how fair would it be to help them enjoy economic perks of their last marriage and the subsequent divorce? The same goes for cohabitation, which does not always result in termination of alimony, but could result in termination, or in substantial cuts in alimony payments since their needs may be being met by the person that they are cohabitating with.

Problems that May Arise in your Divorce Case

Cohabitation and rehabilitation is not something that is looked down upon by the courts, despite the fact there are changes that an opposing lawyer may be able to use against you in your divorce case. Here is a look at some of the ways this may happen.

  • For an opposing counsel, this can be an opportunity to attack on your commitment in the relationship, using the moving on as a sign of never really having their heart set in the relationship.
  • Alimony support is paid to a former spouse because they might find it hard to survive financially post-divorce. The fact that they are cohabitating or remarrying can weaken their claims of a higher spousal support, since they are likely to have their needs met with their new partner.

Are you looking for a good Jacksonville Divorce Lawyer to advise you on situations like the ones mentioned above, then contact us today!

 

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Enforcement and modifications – Post Divorce issues that may come up. http://904familylaw.com/enforcement-modifications-post-divorce-issues-may-come/ Thu, 24 Mar 2016 13:45:37 +0000 http://904familylaw.com/?p=295 Going through a divorce is hard; one has to go through a lot of emotional and mental turmoil. Yet, getting a Jacksonville divorce attorney on your side and having a divorce order passed by the court is not the end...

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Going through a divorce is hard; one has to go through a lot of emotional and mental turmoil. Yet, getting a Jacksonville divorce attorney on your side and having a divorce order passed by the court is not the end of the case. There are several intricacies that remain. For example, the court may have passed a ruling for child support or child custody, bearing in mind a particular set of circumstances. When these circumstances change, either of the spouses can turn to the court and ask for a modification in the order.

Modification is basically asking the courts to reconsider their stance and amend their orders in line with the change in circumstances.

What Areas can you get a Modification in?

Certain areas of divorce order can be modified using a modification order from the court. These areas are:

  • Child custody
  • Child Support
  • Child Visitation (time sharing)
  • Alimony payments

While the courts are willing to consider the changing circumstances, you will need a good Jacksonville divorce attorney to persuade the court to modify their original ruling.

Getting a Modification

The courts in Florida recognize the need for an order that is kept in line with the current situation of the spouses. Hence, they are willing to pass modification orders on their original ones. But, they tend to need solid persuasion to ensure they allow for a modification because readily awarding modification for small reasons can hamper the certainty and predictability of the law. Some of the reasons which can be used to obtain a modification by a Jacksonville divorce attorney are:

  • A change for the worse in the financial situation of the spouse making the child support and alimony payments.
  • A change for the better in the financial situation of the spouse getting the alimony payments
  • Spouse getting the alimony payments, cohabiting with another partner
  • Allegations of physical, substance or child abuse coming to light about either of the spouse, especially the one that has child custody.

Enforcing the Orders of the Court

Getting a court order of child support or alimony payments in your favor and actually getting the alimony payments and child support paid to you by the other spouse are two different things. There are a few situations where the order of the court is delayed or ignored for as long as a spouse reasonably can.

In situations like these, what options does the other spouse have? They can simply call their Jacksonville Divorce attorney and ask the courts to enforce their orders. In such a case, the courts can take harsh measures towards a spouse who is unable to fulfill an order they passed. To make such spouses comply with the order, the courts can use a number of different techniques. These enforcement techniques include:

  • Placing a lien on the property of the violating spouse
  • Suspending their driving and other licenses
  • Ordering the payment of arrears
  • Garnishing the wage of the violating spouse

If you are someone who would like to get your divorce order modified or someone who has yet to receive what was promised in the divorce order, contact us to get the best Jacksonville Divorce attorneys at your service today!

 

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Equitable Distributions – What is Marital Property and what’s not? http://904familylaw.com/equitable-distributions-marital-property-whats-not/ Sat, 19 Mar 2016 02:31:24 +0000 http://904familylaw.com/?p=293 The State of Florida is one where marital assets are divided based on the concept of equitable distribution. This simply means that any division of assets and debts between the two spouses as a result of a divorce needs to...

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The State of Florida is one where marital assets are divided based on the concept of equitable distribution. This simply means that any division of assets and debts between the two spouses as a result of a divorce needs to be in an equitable manner. One thing that should be outlined here is that equal and equitable are two different things. While equal means same for both, equitable distribution is rooted in the concept of fairness.

What is Marital property and what is not?

As you live with someone over a period of time in a marriage, their problems, assets, and debts, all become yours as much as theirs and vice versa. However, not all property is marital property. Property can be divided into two broad categories, one is marital property and the other is individual separate property. There are certain properties however, which do not form part of the marital property list. This category is broadly divided into three basic categories:

  • Property that was acquired before marriage
  • Property that is inherited
  • Property gifted to the spouse

As your Jacksonville divorce attorney will tell you, the judge can only divide the marital property between the two spouses during a divorce and nothing else. This is largely due to the fact that assets and debts accumulated during the marriage have been contributed by both spouses either directly or indirectly.

What Does Marital Property Contain?

The simplest categorization of marital property that a Jacksonville divorce attorney can make is that it entails anything and everything that has been acquired by either of the spouses during the course of the marriage. The important thing to note is that it doesn’t matter which spouse has their name on the title document.

Also, equitable distribution cannot be restricted to assets and debts; it contains a host of other things such as:

  • Retirement Account Benefits
  • Money in Bank Accounts
  • Profit Sharing

The only problem with this categorization is that often, it is hard for you to divide property between individual and marital types, so for that, you will need to make use of a Jacksonville Beach divorce attorney.

Division of Assets

Dividing assets in a Florida divorce can be fairly complex, especially in cases where it is hard to ascertain what counts as a separate property and what can be categorized as marital property. For example, a business that a person has been running prior to the marriage, will need to be equitably divided to some extent, since it has been running and growing during the time the spouse was married. This would involve complex calculations which are best dealt with by a Jacksonville divorce attorney.

Some of the factors that the courts take into account in distributing property are:

  • The finances of both spouses
  • The negative effect that one of the spouse has had to bear to support the success of the other
  • The length of the marriage
  • The contributions that each spouse has made to the process

There are just some of the factors that the courts take into account.

If you are looking for a Jacksonville Divorce Attorney who is well versed in equitable distribution, contact us today!

 

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Choosing a Family Lawyer in Jacksonville, FL http://904familylaw.com/family-lawyer-jacksonville-fl/ Tue, 08 Mar 2016 20:05:41 +0000 http://904familylaw.com/?p=289 If there is something people don’t expect at the start of their marriage, it is the idea of having to go through a divorce. For most people who go through it, it is an alien process where they are unaware...

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If there is something people don’t expect at the start of their marriage, it is the idea of having to go through a divorce. For most people who go through it, it is an alien process where they are unaware of what to do and how to do it. Irrespective of the reasons, it is hard to handle the circumstances alone. This is why, when you opt for a divorce, you need a top family lawyer in Jacksonville, FL to represent your case.

Yet, finding the right family attorney can often be hard. Here are a few tips to help you choose the best family lawyer in Jacksonville, FL.

Make a Budget

Divorce is not cheap. Unless you go for an out of court settlement, there are a number of fees in addition to the fee of your lawyer which you will pay in due course. So before you search for a family lawyer, it’s best that you decide the amount you are willing to spend on the attorney’s fees. Once you know the amount, you can then gather prospective candidates to choose from.

Do Prior Research

Finding information on any individual or professional is simple today. Prior research is now important and often a norm, whether you buy goods and services, or even while hiring a lawyer. So before you hire one, go online, scour the internet and look for suitable family lawyers in Jacksonville, FL. The best way to judge the capability of a lawyer is by reading the reviews of their former clients and looking at the array of services they offer.

Ask Around from Family and Friends

Unfortunately, divorce is becoming fairly common. This means that it is highly likely that someone in your family or friends have come across the same situation that you face today. Ask them; seek their guidance in choosing a family lawyer to lead your case. You can research on the internet all you want and read client reviews, but what matters at the end is the actual firsthand experience of how it goes. If you have someone trustworthy who is recommending a lawyer to you, it’s best that you consider their option.

Make a List of At least 4 potential candidates

You can’t judge each family lawyer independently, since all of them are likely to appeal to you in their own right. Instead, it’s best if you choose four or five of the top candidates and then compare them with one another. Comparing lawyers will mean looking at their experience, their success ratio and the variety of cases they have been involved in.

Meet them and Ask Questions

To make an informed decision in choosing the perfect family lawyer in Jacksonville, FL, for your needs, meeting the lawyer is important. In your first meeting, you can ask them about their experience and the way they are going to handle your case. This is likely to tell you a lot about a potential candidate. You should go further only if you are impressed.

If you are looking for a top family lawyer in Jacksonville, FL, contact the Law Office of Ian C. Hurley P.A. at 904-372-4392.

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Alimony Reform in Florida http://904familylaw.com/alimony-reform-in-florida/ Wed, 05 Aug 2015 15:16:42 +0000 http://904familylaw.com/?p=268 Alimony is a condition of divorce that a spouse is court-ordered to provide provisions to their former spouse after the separation of divorce.  It is sometimes referred to as “spousal support” and it is designed to help the lower-income spouse,...

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Alimony is a condition of divorce that a spouse is court-ordered to provide provisions to their former spouse after the separation of divorce.  It is sometimes referred to as “spousal support” and it is designed to help the lower-income spouse, beyond the allocation of funds for child support, maintain the lifestyle that was upheld during the union.

There are five types of alimony in Florida law:

  • Temporary: This type of alimony only lasts during the duration of the divorce and is eliminated once the divorce is final.
  • Bridge-the-gap: In this alimony scenario the maximum duration is two years after the divorce is finalized.  Its purpose it to assist the receiving spouse to reach short term needs.
  • Durational: Durational alimony extends as long as the marriage itself lasted, for example if a couple was wed for 7 years the alimony terms would not extend past 7 years.
  • Rehabilitative: A spouse attempting to receive this type of alimony must provide the courts with a plan outlining the education/training, money, and time needed to complete the plan.
  • Permanent:  If the economic need of the receiving spouse is seemingly permanent, the alimony awarded may be permanent as well.  They must prove, however, that they have the inability to be self-supporting the standard that they once lived at.

Alimony is designed to aid those who may have given up the ability to earn a living or receive an education so that their spouse could in lieu of them.  Recent legislation in the Florida law has drawn much criticism to the potential reform of alimony laws in the state.  The Florida government, however, reached a deadlock over Medicaid expansion, which halted the legislation process and left many issues, including alimony reform, in an indeterminate state.  The reform suggested this most recent session provided a formula in which all alimony would be decided.  The main concern that this change developed was the lowering of alimony across the board, even in instances where lowering would lead to poverty and losses that are foreseeable and avoidable.  Due to their inability to arrive at an agreement, alimony modification was not reached during this year’s session and will not be revisited until next session, which begins January 2, 2016.

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Selecting a Divorce Attorney http://904familylaw.com/selecting-a-divorce-attorney/ Mon, 27 Jul 2015 20:51:05 +0000 http://904familylaw.com/?p=265 Many of us are ignorant to the legal technicalities of a divorce, that’s why picking a trustworthy and knowledgeable divorce attorney is necessary.  Selecting the attorney who is going to represent you in your divorce is more than just flipping...

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Many of us are ignorant to the legal technicalities of a divorce, that’s why picking a trustworthy and knowledgeable divorce attorney is necessary.  Selecting the attorney who is going to represent you in your divorce is more than just flipping through the yellow pages and picking a name, it is vital to find someone who works best for you and your case.

Finding a lawyer who is experienced in family law or specializes in divorce cases can be made easy through referrals.  Therapists, members of clergy, other lawyers, or business professionals that work with divorce lawyers are all good sources of referrals.  If you have any family members or friends that have undergone a divorce they will also be able to provide you with good insight on what they liked and did not like about working with their attorney and the legal process itself.

Selecting a divorce attorney who can masterfully handle the emotional issues as well as the business issues of your case greatly alleviates the distress of this life-changing event.  Many people choose the first lawyer with which they meet but it is not uncommon to meet with several attorneys before choosing the one that is right for you.  Interviewing lawyers and the amount of time you allocate on the search process all depends on the urgency of your case.  Giving yourself and your spouse time to attempt to reach terms on your own can sometimes be the best solution and eliminates the need for legal representation all together.  Even if you decide to retain a lawyer, cooperation with your spouse will make the process much easier.

When choosing the best-fit attorney for you, you should take the time to put together all the questions you have about the legal process.  How the attorney reacts and answers your questions should help raise any red flags that they aren’t the right choice for you.  Asking questions about their accessibility and availability, pricing and retainer fees, experience in family law, and overall caseload can bring to light a lot of ill-fitted legal matches.

Here are some traits to look for when selecting your attorney:

  • Does he or she to you in plain English and not complicated legal jargon?
  • Do you feel comfortable confining in them? This is very important because you will be required to reveal some very personal information about your life and your marriage
  • If there are children involved, will your attorney put the needs of the kids first and not push unreasonable demands for child support that will complicate the divorce process?
  • And finally, are you able to afford the attorney fees? Having a affordable attorney can help with regaining normalcy in your daily life after the divorce.

Once you have made your choice of representation, the attorney will have been someone that is local, qualified, knowledgeable, and a good communicator.  They will be someone that you find trustworthy and holds the same moral beliefs on divorce as you do.  Most of all, they will be someone who listens to what you want, gives sound advice, and does what is best for you.

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Florida Child Custody http://904familylaw.com/florida-child-custody/ Fri, 17 Jul 2015 13:27:07 +0000 http://904familylaw.com/?p=262 In cases of divorce, the issue of child custody is one of the major terms to be settled. Child custody in Florida assists in determining which parent gets legal and physical custody. Physical custody determines where the child will live,...

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In cases of divorce, the issue of child custody is one of the major terms to be settled. Child custody in Florida assists in determining which parent gets legal and physical custody. Physical custody determines where the child will live, whereas legal custody allows the spouse to make educational, medical, punitive, or religious decisions. In Florida, there is a set of mandatory child support guidelines that cover the finances as well as the life stability of the child.

When both parents are able to spend liberal time with the child that is referred to as time-sharing. A Florida family court determines the allocation of time between the parents based on the best interests of the child(ren). The best interest of the child(ren) is decided by the following factors:

  • Stability of the child(ren)’s home
  • Psychological or physical health of the parent
  • Parents ability to respond to child(ren)’s needs
  • Any history of domestic violence, abuse, or neglect
  • The child(ren)’s wishes (if they are of the adequate age and intelligence)

When both parents believe that they are the best fit to fulfill these basic needs is when the situation becomes very costly and emotionally draining for both the parents and children involved.

It is important for both parents to understand the change in their roles; because of this it is mandatory under Florida law for both parents to attend parenting classes prior to the divorce. For many years to come you will have to deal with your ex-spouse so understanding how to co-parent and showing the court that you comprehend your role is important. In order to produce a cohesive co-parenting situation Florida law requires the parents to provide a written parenting plan. This plan includes details for shared responsibility, a specific schedule, agreeance on methods that the parents will use to communicate with the child(ren), and designation of who is responsible for health care and schooling matters.

 

When the court deems that any one parent is fit, that parent is awarded sole parental responsibility. The other parent, however, may or may not have the right to see their child(ren) through their court appointed timesharing schedule. If the party holding sole parental responsibility is able to convince the courts that timesharing would be detrimental to the child(ren)’s life, then the court holds the authority to deny timesharing. This situation is worst-case scenario in the state of Florida; Florida law places a strong emphasis on the importance of both parents involvement in their child(ren)’s life. The courts will not completely cut off a parent’s communication with the child(ren), but instead will put in place common sense provisions in order to protect the minor. These provisions may include one-sided decision-making or supervised timesharing.

Once the custody terms are decided it is very difficult to make changes. Unless a third party can prove there are unforeseen changes in circumstances, the custody stipulations will not be modified. The burden of proof falls upon the parent that wishes for the changes to be made, this is a very technical process and legal representation is highly recommended in order to achieve your intended goal. It is important to understand your legal rights when forming a custody agreement in order to protect yourself from unappealing outcome.

 

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Contested vs. Uncontested Divorce http://904familylaw.com/contested-vs-uncontested-divorce-2/ Sat, 11 Jul 2015 14:47:42 +0000 http://904familylaw.com/?p=259 No divorce is truly “uncontested” but in an uncontested divorce the two parties are able to resolve disputes outside of court. In a contested divorce, the two parties are unable to agree on the terms of the divorce such as...

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No divorce is truly “uncontested” but in an uncontested divorce the two parties are able to resolve disputes outside of court. In a contested divorce, the two parties are unable to agree on the terms of the divorce such as child support, alimony, division of assets, or division of debt. These four terms are the issues at the heart of every divorce.

Every couple wishing to have a divorce should attempt to develop shared terms for the severance prior to going to court. An uncontested divorce is easy and far less costly and it allows both the parties involved to end the marriage quickly and quietly. The less money spent on hiring a lawyer and going through the difficult divorce process, the more money left for yourself and your children after the separation. Any of these options save time and money by avoiding the extensive litigation and trial process.

Not every uncontested divorce goes smoothly, but low amounts of assets and a mutual capability of self-support definitely alleviates the process. Couples with complicated circumstances or major differences of monetary or emotional power may find that contested divorce is their only option.

High financial stakes and legal technicalities are the basis of contested divorces. The spouses’ inability to agree on terms to their divorce leads to a more convoluted process of separation through a contested divorce. With a contested divorce, counsel is necessary. Involving lawyers and court appearances causes a serious spike in price and time, only breeding more grievances that could be avoided. It is not uncommon for spouses to begin the litigation process but before reaching court come to an agreement of terms; this development is referred to as a settlement. Through settling, a couple can reduce resentment, allowing both parties to resume their normal lives quickly. Most judges and lawyers prefer to settle out of court so if the spouses are unable to reach an arrangement on their own, their lawyers will try to help them reach one eventually.

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