Archive for November, 2016

Why A Good Divorce Is Better Than A Bad Marriage?

Tuesday, November 29th, 2016

It is a common belief that even if a marriage is falling apart, or is already in shambles, it is better to just deal with the situation and keep the family intact instead of separating and getting divorced. Now, besides the fact that it can be more financially sound to stay married, there is no reason to stay miserable with someone who you no longer want to be with. Divorce can be expensive, but the toll you pay, emotionally and mentally, far outweighs the bill.

If there are kids involved, some may think it’s in their best interest to stay married and keep the household intact. After all, many studies suggest that children do much better with two parents under the same roof. But that study has to do with single parents being left by the other, not two spouses that have been together and raised the child and who are now yelling and screaming at each other before their eyes. Sometimes, it is a better option for a married couple to separate and be individually happy because from there, each of them can become a better parent.

For instance, although the child will have two homes after the divorce, at least they aren’t coming home to witness the fighting, screaming and yelling. The children can just be kids, and can engage with you in a more carefree environment as opposed to trying to traverse the emotional minefield that is the result of a bad marriage.

Happier and more engaged parents, even if they are separated, will have a much more positive effect than a wrecked nuclear family. The children can learn a lot from a productive divorce as well. It shows that personal happiness and sometimes compromising has supreme benefits and that it is very important.

Is There Any Difference Between Legal Separation And Divorce?

Monday, November 14th, 2016

Many married couples decide they no longer want to be together, but that doesn’t always mean they are going to get divorced. In fact, some couples choose to be legally separated instead of going through the divorce process.

A legal separation is similar to divorce, as there will be child custody negotiations as well as visitation rules and child/spousal support. Division of properties is another conversation that will take place when the couple is preparing to be separated.

What makes legal separation unique from divorce is that although you will not be living together, in the eyes of the state you are still married. For some, legal separation is a better route to take than divorce, be it for financial or family reasons.

If you do decide to get separated, it is important to know that if you choose to get divorced later on, you will still have to go through the divorce process in its entirety, regardless of what might have been decided in the separation negotiations.

These are the main reasons that spouses might choose legal separation over a divorce.

  • Religious beliefs might prevent the possibility of divorce;
  • If you remain married, your healthcare/insurance plan won’t change, and neither will the listed beneficiary;
  • By staying married, you can take advantage of the tax benefits that come along with it;
  • The divorce process can be long, expensive and emotionally draining, and some spouses find that it just isn’t worth it to go through the entire process. In this sense, cutting your losses and just getting separated is a sensible way to go, as you essentially accomplish the goal of terminating the romantic and intimate part of the relationship.

One point I wanted to make separate from the others is that unlike in divorce, legal separation allows you the possibility of reconciling and working on your relationship, to the point where you might even move back in together.

Legal separation allows this door to stay open while getting divorced and then getting back together requires more time and a lot more money.

Is There Any Advantage To Filing Divorce And Child Custody First?

Tuesday, November 8th, 2016

Because a divorce case cannot begin without one of the spouses initiating it (by petitioning or filing for divorce), there are many advantages to being the one who does start the divorce process. Being the Petitioner, as the phrase has been coined, comes with having more control over the timing of certain events, such as some scheduling matters that mostly take place at the beginning of the case. It is a significant advantage in filing a divorce.

For instance, being able to control when the case starts allows them to pick a start time that is most convenient for them. If you are the Petitioner, you can wait until your divorce attorney has all of the documents in order and ready, and the ones that must be served upon, the Respondent, can be served at the least convenient time for it.

With regard to child custody, the Petitioner can also have their attorney file for what is known as an emergency injunction at the time the case is filed. This step is usually taken when there is a legitimate fear that one of the parents will kidnap or abuse the child. This injunction is a safeguard against a parent responding emotionally to discovering that the other spouse has filed for divorce.

By having the control of scheduling different court dates, a parent can set up hearings where issues of child custody, child visitation, and child support will be handled. This doesn’t necessarily expedite the process nor does it ensure custody by any stretch of the word, but most would agree that having some type of control over these matters is preferable compared to the opposite.

As always, you should discuss this with your divorce attorney who can give you the best advice on how to proceed, and what is in your best interest.

How To Respond To A Divorce Summons?

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

If you are the recipient of a Summons/Complaint because of a pending divorce, you have twenty (20) days to respond. To respond to the summons, you must file what is known as the Answer. Usually, your attorney will draft up and turn in your Answer for you, which will initiate the divorce process.

You should contact your local family court to receive multiple response forms. In some cases, the forms can be downloaded from the Internet, and you may print them out; alternatively, you can physically go to the court and get a tangible copy.

You must respond to the particular claims that are listed in the Plaintiff’s Complaint, and for each claim, you must either admit or challenge the claim.

If you have minor children, you will need to include information about the current and possible child support payments as well as future alimony payments. You can also acquire full guardianship of the children or child, but you will have to create a complete outline of how much time with the child should be divided. It should be a detailed layout of how the parent without sole custody should be able to have visitation with the children, along with if you think it is necessary to provide child support.

All these papers must be submitted to the court’s desk clerk in order for it to be filed. It is recommended that you bring three (3) versions of your response. The administrator will stamp the copies as with a “Filed” label, and will keep one (1) copy for the court to keep. You should also file one copy for your personal records in a safe place.

If your soon-to-be-ex-spouse has retained a divorce lawyer, forward a copy to their lawyer, as required by the court. If your spouse didn’t retain an attorney, then you will send a copy to your partner, along with a return receipt. Or, if they do not have an attorney, you can ask your sheriff or get a process server who can legally serve your response to your spouse.