A famous psychiatric study* found that divorce is second only to the death of a spouse in terms of stressfulness (73 points for the latter, compared to 100 for the former). Of course, marriage itself is good for 50 points, so who knows?
Anecdotally, it is often the case that one of you knew this was coming, and the other is blindsided by the filing. Whether you are thinking about filing for divorce, or have just been served with divorce papers, you owe it to yourself to talk to an attorney. Emotions run high during these cases, and you want to have a plan in place to protect your assets, your credit, and your reputation.
The most common divorce is a “no-fault” divorce, in which both of you essentially agree to the divorce. The formal language is that there has been an “irretrievable breakdown of the marriage.” Under this approach, a judge can grant the divorce in ninety days if both parties consent. If they do not consent, a decree of divorce can be entered after the parties have been separated for a period of two years.
The division of martial assets and debts, called “equitable distribution,” can be agreed on by the parties or, if they can’t reach an agreement, will be decided by a judge. If you can’t agree, the court will also decide how much – if any – spousal support, or alimony, will be paid after the divorce is granted.
The point is this: life is stressful.
If you are contemplating separation or divorce, and you want to have an attorney at your side who will give you realistic, unvarnished advice while you contemplate this momentous life change, and who can then help you through the process if you decide to go forward, contact the Law Office of Justin P. Miller today for a free, no-obligation consultation. 814.359.7529.