The term “family law” can encompass many different things. To some, it may seem contradictory that divorce attorneys are actually family lawyers. Divorce falls under family law, and therefore a divorce attorney is a family lawyer. In fact, divorce is perhaps the most prominent and common type of proceeding to fall under family law. People may be confused by this fact — doesn’t divorce tear families apart? In fact, the goal of a divorce attorney is not to tear families apart, but dissolve the legal “contract” that is marriage. Ideally, divorces end ugly relationships, which can lead to that relationship become better should children be involved. As strange as it may sound, the goal is to build up a better, different kind of family rather than breaking up a family. With that being said, it’s a misconception that divorce is the only type of law practiced by family lawyers. Family lawyers are also called upon to help negotiate custody and child support arrangements whether or not the parents were ever legally married. They can also help build brand new families through adoption, an entirely positive event. Let’s look into the realities of divorce law and family law, and why they can be very different from what people might potentially imagine.
Divorce: The Reality Versus What You Imagine
Chances are that you have some misconceptions about the divorce process and what it contains. You may even have negative thoughts about divorce, even as you consider or choose one for yourself. There are a variety of reasons why people choose divorce. Some opt for divorce due to what could be called a worst-case scenario — that is, abuse. Nobody leaving an abusive relationship should feel judged for that choice. In fact, divorce lawyers often help their abused clients move forward in attaining a restraining order. Abused spouses leaving their abusers can face a great risk of danger, and as such things like restraining orders are absolute musts. Many, however, end marriages for other reasons. An affair could be the culprit — but most of the time, divorcing couples have simply fallen out of love. Each day in America, a couple divorces every 36 seconds. This equals 2,400 divorces a day, 16,800 divorces per week, and 876,000 divorces per year. Researchers believe that 40 to 50% of all first marriages, and 60% of all second marriages end in divorce. Although this number seems huge, it’s actually simply reality. No matter why you end a marriage, you shouldn’t face judgment. With the average length of a marriage ending in divorce being nine years, this could happen to anyone. A stigma still exists, but it’s rapidly fading. With that being said, let’s look into what you should prepare for should you choose divorce.
Divorce: What To Expect
There are many things you should prepare for should you choose divorce. Ideally, divorce shouldn’t go to court. A court case only makes things more expensive and complicated, and it can end in a far more bitter divorce than is necessary. Divorce lawyers can help their clients work out their issues through mediation. Although the marriage can’t be saved, a divorce can be amicable. Should you not have a pre-nuptial agreement, there are certain legal guidelines for each state that direct how assets are divided up. Some states also have requirements in regard to alimony. There are many different variables in regards to things like money — military members, for example, may have to give their ex-spouses a certain amount of their retirement depending on how long they were married. But what is most important to plan for are minor children, if there are any. Ideally, you’ll work out a joint custody agreement. Obviously, this is not always the case. But with a good attorney at your side, you’ll figure out a custody agreement that works for both you and your children.
You’ll know when it’s time to divorce. When that times, get a good attorney.
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