Marriage – like any other season of life – has its corresponding happinesses and responsibilities. After marriage, couples begin the family-building stage, others wait, and still other couples choose to not have children.

Regardless of lifestyle, half the time, couples stay together. The rest end in divorce. And, the reasons couples divorce are myriad.

The Divorce Process

Divorce cancels the legal “contract” of marriage. It ends the responsibilities spouses have to one another or children, except as spelled out in a divorce decree. The divorce process starts with your attorney gathering details of your situation to determine which type of divorce applies. There are two basic kinds of divorce cases: 

  • At-fault Divorce: Cases involving Habitual Drunkenness (including habitual drug use); Physical Cruelty and Adultery. Abandonment is a fault ground too, but is not often used as it requires, essentially, the same proof as a no fault (year’s separation) divorce.

  • No-fault Divorce: Cases of irreconcilable differences for parties separated a year or more.

In most cases, parties file a Motion for Temporary Relief, which settles the rights of the parties while the case proceeds. The Temporary Order will address all necessary issues that can be agreed on (except divorce). Temporary Orders are not permanent (as a general rule). After the The temporary hearing, mediation may be ordered, and a guardian ad litem appointed (if child custody is being fought). Expert witnesses and private investigators may also be involved.

Just because a case is a “no-fault” case doesn’t mean it will be simple, and an at-fault case will not necessarily be complicated.

The facts of each case will determine how difficult the it may be, and how much the divorce would cost. 

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