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Divorce rates are on the rise in the United States, with approximately half of all marriages ending in divorce . Divorce is undoubtedly a difficult emotional and financial process for all parties involved. To aid in the termination of marital unions, all states have established divorce laws.
Primarily governed by individual states, divorce laws that apply in one state may not necessarily apply in another. States sometimes have similar divorce laws, especially with regard to issues of spousal support and alimony, child custody, and property division. However, divorce laws can vary tremendously when it comes to filing procedures, child support, divorce grounds, and residency requirements. If you are considering divorce, a caring and qualified divorce attorney can help you understand the divorce laws in your state.
Under divorce law, there are two types of divorce – contested and uncontested . Contested divorces tend to entail much more strife and difficulty since the two parties cannot come to terms with either the divorce in general or the conditions of the divorce. Oftentimes, the parties will disagree on matters regarding the division of assets, allocation of debts, alimony, and child custody. State divorce laws, however, articulate rules and guidelines meant to resolve these issues.
An uncontested divorce tends to be less complicated since both parties agree to the terms of the divorce, and thus an uncontested divorce generally proceeds through the legal system faster than a contested one.
Because of the expeditious nature of uncontested divorces, lawyers and judges often prefer to resolve marital disputes in an uncontested out-of-court settlement . Unfortunately, some spouses are unwilling to settle or agree on certain terms of the divorce. In such cases, divorce law may require both parties to participate in counseling or mediation to help diffuse areas of contention and emotional tension. However, counselors and mediators are not always state-funded and can significantly increase the cost of a divorce.
In some jurisdictions, divorce law may dictate the use of an alternative dispute mechanism known as masters or magistrates. Essentially, these are “junior judges” who hear evidence and make recommendations to a judge. The decision of a master or magistrate is not final until the judge adopts it, and this process too can be costly.
The best possible divorce scenario would be one in which the parties are on amicable terms and agree to the conditions of the divorce. Regrettably, this does not always happen. Sometimes spouses, when driven by raw emotion, will exhibit animosity and distrust toward one another. Such intense emotions tend to preclude an easy settlement. Even though divorce law is meant to aid in the resolution process, the laws are complex and fail to relieve the tension between the quarreling parties.
Understanding divorce law and protecting your legal interests during this strenuous time requires the assistance of an experienced divorce attorney. A qualified and successful divorce lawyer can offer counsel on complicated divorce law and other important financial and legal considerations.
Contact us for a FREE consultation with an experienced and successful divorce attorney in your area if you are thinking about divorce or have questions about divorce law.
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Child custody rights may be shared by both parents or, primary child custody rights may be awarded to one parent or legal guardian. Since the 1970s the family court will award child custody rights contingent with the best interests of the child.
Child custody for fathers following a divorce is one of the most important aspects of a dissolving marriage. Throughout history the legal presumptions about child custody for fathers has changed significantly. Before the twentieth century children were regarded as the property of their father. Under common law, child custody for fathers was commonly awarded, as children were considered a father's rightful property. A major shift occurred after this period in history, as family courts came to favor mothers in child custody cases. It was presumed that under normal circumstances, children did better when placed in the sole custody of their mothers.