How to Avoid a Nasty Divorce
Speak with any divorce attorney, and you will soon realize the true lengths of planning that go into avoiding a bad or nasty divorce. For many individuals, the realization that a marriage is going bad can be plainly obvious, but a surprise filing for divorce by their partner can leave them unprotected. Aside from the dissolution of your marriage, you and your spouse must decide a number of long-term issues, including ascertaining the validity of pre-nuptial agreements, child custody arrangements, child support arrangements, alimony arrangements, division of assets, and responsibility for debts accrued during the marriage. With so many vital issues at stake, many couples find it virtually impossible to end a divorce amicably without the intervention of a divorce attorney.
Fault Divorce vs. No Fault Divorce
Naturally, the levels of how bad a divorce can go include items such as financial cost, emotional distress, length of divorce disputes, and receiving unfavorable outcomes. For starters, couples seeking divorce with a reasonable level of civility should consider no-fault divorce. No-fault divorce, which is available in all states, allows the divorcing party to state a vague reason for the divorce, per the allowances of their individual state. In many cases, irreparable damage to the marriage, irreconcilable differences, and incompatibility are all grounds for a legal no-fault divorce. A no fault divorce attorney can provide counsel on the methods for filing a no-fault-divorce claim in your state, which will prove significantly cheaper, quicker, and less contentious than a proving fault in your divorce. In addition, your spouse cannot contest, or stop, a no fault divorce filing, but there is room for possible disputes over the terms of a divorce agreement.
Possible Disputes During Divorce Proceedings
If both parties agree to a no-fault divorce, which is the least contested method, each party may wish to retain a divorce attorney to represent their interests in coming up with the terms of the divorce agreement. Commonly, the divorce agreement prepared by your no-fault divorce attorney contains specifics on the terms of child custody, child support, division of property and assets, alimony arrangements, and other provisions. For most divorcing parties with no dependents, no outstanding assets, or those with a comprehensive pre-nuptial agreement, a divorce settlement is easily prepared by a divorce mediation attorney per the agreements made between the divorcing couples. In some states, before you can contest a divorce agreement in the courts, attempts to rectify outstanding agreement disputes through a divorce mediation attorney are required.
Bottom line: Taking a divorce dispute into the courts is costly, draws out the time it takes to finalize the divorce, and potentially exposes you to unfavorable outcomes that you are not willing to accept, but in light of a judgment, must follow. Divorce mediation, or as a second recourse there is always arbitration, is best handled by you and your chosen divorce mediation attorney, who can effectively negotiate the terms of your divorce agreement with your spouse’s divorce mediation attorney. If mediation proceedings break down, both parties can potentially enter into the cost-efficient process of arbitration to resolve a divorce settlement dispute, while still avoiding the exorbitant costs of courtroom divorce litigation.
Resolving the Divorce Disputes and Finalizing Divorce Settlements
If mediation is effective, you and your soon to be ex-spouse will effectively agree to the terms of a divorce settlement agreement through your representative divorce counsel. If a divorce judge deems the settlement fair, equitable, and legally sound, the settlement is immediately approved by the courts and set into affect. If one or more parties violate these agreements, however, they can now be held in contempt of court. Typically, a divorce settlement will detail all aspects lingering from your marriage, including addressing issues such as:
- Child custody and visitation rights
- Child support payment arrangements
- Spousal support or alimony agreement
- Division of property and assets
- Assignment of outstanding debts from marriage
Additionally, the result of divorce arbitration can be presented to the divorce court in a similar manner by you and your spouse’s attorney. If private negotiations, negotiations with divorce counsel, divorce mediation, or divorce arbitration are not acceptable means of resolving a divorce settlement dispute, the divorce case must be heard in divorce court by a judge. The problems associated with this at the very least include increased costs, lengthened time to finalize a divorce, and a marginal level of contempt, uncertainty, and emotional distress. In the most basic understanding for divorcing couples, the cheapest divorce is one that is agreed upon by both parties, without dispute over external issues, and certified by a divorce attorney, which can present your agreement to the courts. To the individual involved in divorce, keep in mind that the expense associated with finding legal counsel for your divorce will probably pale in comparison to the amount of assets and support you could lose or be forced to pay per proposed settlement terms. These terms may also be represented and back by a powerful divorce mediation attorney of their own, leaving the spouse without legal counsel virtually defenseless.