5 Legal Issues To Consider And Address Before A Divorce

By Chukwube Joseph

March 31, 2017   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

divorce legal issues

Divorce is an ugly process filled with drama and heated-up emotions.

Despite this, divorce rate continues to increase in number across the globe. A 2014 divorce data showed that America has a 53% divorce rate while Belgium has the highest rate at a staggering 70%.

Some individuals decide to push through with a divorce case after spending a long time in their relationships. One good example is the woman who sought to end her 39-year marriage in a Valentine’s day court appeal.

If you are thinking of the same thing, here are some of the most common divorce legal issues you should be prepared to address.

Divorce types and processes

types of divorce

The first step in any divorce case involves deciding what type of divorce case to pursue and how to go about it. We are in the 21st century and time has taken its toll on everything, including divorce types and the processes involved.

To legally put an end to a marriage, a number of processes and approaches have to be taken. Some of these processes are not only physically exhausting but stressful, too.

Divorce legal issues vary from case to case and the laws governing them differ greatly from state to state. Before you take any action, it’s advisable that you verify the laws and divorce rules and regulations applicable in your region.

  • Collaborative divorce

In this divorce, each party hires his own attorney to help draft the divorce terms and conditions. However, the application of this law is limited as not all states offer it.

  • Mediated divorce

In this case, both spouses hire one attorney to assist and facilitate the divorce process. Not all states offer this law either.

  • No-Fault divorce

A no-fault divorce does not put the blame on any party. It only cites the breakdown of the union. This is the most commonly pursued divorce type by couples with personal issues they wish not to disclose to the public.

  • Summary divorce

This divorce type works best for couples that have been married for a short period of time and have limited properties, no spousal support, and children. This divorce type does not exist in MA and a few other states.

  • Uncontested divorce

In this type of divorce, couples are able to decide the divorce terms without the interference or assistance of external forces. This is the most common divorce type and couples who file this case gets to decide what suits their needs.

It’s also important for couples to take into consideration the average duration of time it would take for their divorce case to actually push through. This will help them to take appropriate precautions and measures if there be a need.

See Also: The ‘Dos and Don’ts when going through a divorce

Financial issues

This is one of those factors that tend to aggravate the divorce process. In some cases, it can even be the root cause of the problem.

During the process, it’s important for divorcing couples to legally settle and document their agreed financial terms and conditions. One good example is child support.

Failure to do this can lead to a contested divorce case and this can initiate an unending debate between parties. This goes particularly true with couples who aim to gain an upper hand.

In addition to prolonging the case, it can also cause money to be wasted on attorney fees and related divorce procedures. Although it’s natural for both parties to feel angry and act irrationally, they should still consider the big picture if they want to settle the case faster. 

Custody issues

child custody

Child custody is the single most important issue divorcing parents must deal with. Failure to address the issue properly can put kids through hell and make them suffer heavily for their parents’ decisions.

Divorcing parents must come to an agreement about the important issues that can affect the welfare of their kids. This includes legal child custody, physical child custody, health insurance for the children, and their religious upbringing. They must also agree on their education, visitation rights, and other expenses that may arise in the future.

It’s advisable for divorcing parents to decide on such issues together. However, for parents who can’t get along, the court will review a number of factors that can determine which parent is the best fit for the kid. If a kid is 12-years or older, the court follows the child’s preference.

Spousal support issues

To successfully settle a divorce case, it’s important for spouses to keep a fair share of funds and support for one another.

Some support types are not really concerned with immediate financial needs. Some of them refer to long-term financial assistance, like pension plans to support the spouse for a certain period of time.

It’s important for couples to legally address this issue to certify the spouse’s entitlement to support, the amount to be paid in pension and the duration it should be paid for.

This will inevitably help both parties to hold their stance and will serve as a checkbook whenever unplanned events pop up.

Preparation of necessary documents

Lastly, it’s important to be able to present clear documents that can affect the terms and conditions of the divorce. Order than child custodian statement, a few other important documents to prepare include the following:

  • Prenuptial agreement
  • Separation agreement
  • Pension statements
  • Bank statements
  • Utility bills
  • Credit card statements
  • Mortgages
  • Loan documents
  • Life insurance policies
  • Benefits statements
  • Other bills (tuition fees, medical bills, etc)

Ability to have such files documented will help the union to remain solid and will prevent unnecessary drama at a later time.

See Also: 5 Divorce Mistakes to Avoid Right Now


Chukwube Joseph

Joseph Chukwube is an experienced content writer, digital marketer and link builder. He is the Founder and CEO of Dream Chase Achieve, a rapidly growing lifestyle and self-improvement blog. Click here to use his services.

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