Marriage stands as one of the oldest and most universal institutions in the world, and it is traditionally designed to unite a man and woman into a single household that can raise children. This is also true today, and in addition, some nations have also legalized same-sex marriage. But divorce, the legal end of a marriage, is also common today. A spouse who feels the need to terminate their marriage may get legal help for filing divorce papers and going to court, and divorce lawyers at local law firms can be hired to assist them. The same is true of child custody lawyers and child support lawyers, if the marriage involves children under 18 years old. Why might a marriage come to an end like this? And when should a spouse hire divorce lawyers or choose to hire divorce mediators instead? There are reasons for each route.
Why Divorce Happens
Studies and research investigate modern trends of both marriage and divorce, and some patterns have emerged in the United States. Chief among the causes for divorce is infidelity, when one spouse is unfaithful to the other and their dishonest acts are discovered. Both men and women are known to do this, though their reasons to do it may differ. This may cause serious emotional trauma to the other spouse, and if marriage counseling does not fix the situation, then divorce lawyers might be next. Meanwhile, some divorces take place because one spouse has become violently, verbally, or even sexually abusive toward other members of the household, and that may prompt the other spouse to file for divorce. And even if abuse toward others does not happen, a spouse’s drug or alcohol use may prompt a divorce, since such substance abuse may strain the household’s finances and cause radical personality changes.
Not all divorces are so dramatic, however. Divorce is also a valid option if the two spouses realize that they are not so compatible after all, and they might have very different lifestyles or spending habits. Studies suggest that two people who get engaged after three or more years of dating are more likely to remain married than two people who got engaged too soon in their relationship. But in any cases, if divorce is happening, then the spouses may either hire lawyers or mediators to handle matters, depending on their need. Outside help can make all the difference.
A spouse who has determined that divorce is necessary may turn to local divorce law firms to find attorneys or lawyers who can help them, and that involves getting consultations from them (this may or may not incur a fee). Once the client has hired a lawyer, they may file divorce papers and bring the case forward in court, though they may expect the other spouse to hire their own lawyers, too. Each side’s lawyers will use the law to negotiate and fight over assets on behalf of their respected clients, and assets from the marriage such as bank accounts, cars and houses, and even family jewelry or a privately owned business may be contested.
If children were in the marriage, then the spouses may hire child custody lawyers and child support lawyers to battle legally over that matter. Custody lawyers may negotiate over who will have custody of the children, and child support lawyers may negotiate the terms of how each parent will financially support that child. These laws will vary from one American state to another, so the clients may want to consult their lawyers about that. And a child aged 12 or over may speak privately with the judge about their preferences over where they will live after the divorce.
Divorce cases with fewer assets to fight over, or low-intensity divorces, may require only mediators rather than lawyers. In these cases, the two spouses can handle the divorce negotiations and terms themselves, and they may hire mediators who will oversee this. A mediator is a neutral third party who will guide each party and help them produce fair, constructive, and clearly expressed ideas on how to handle the divorce properly. Mediators won’t offer their own advice unless asked, though. And often, mediated divorces may be much cheaper and private than those that go through divorce courts.