Sometimes after fighting long and hard for your relationship, you come to the conclusion that the best option truly is to end it. But as you begin researching divorce and your options, you're sure to have some questions. Here's a look at a few of the most common questions people have when they first start looking into divorce.
How much does divorce cost?
So many people avoid getting divorced because they fear it will cost them thousands of dollars. But in fact, a divorce can be quite inexpensive if you go about it in the right way. If you and your spouse agree to an uncontested divorce, which means you agree on the terms of the divorce and do not have to allow a judge to split things up for you, then you may be able to get divorced for as little as $500. Hire an attorney to look over all of your paperwork for an hour and make sure everything is in order, and you'll pay another $250 to $450 or so.
Of course, if your spouse contests the divorce and the two of you have to head to court, then your legal fees will be much higher.
Who decides how the assets are divided?
Ideally, you and your spouse will get together and decide who will keep what after you are divorced. It's only when you cannot come to an agreement that your state's laws come into play. Some states are "joint property" states, in which everything you both own is considered marital property and must be divided equally. Other states are "equitable distribution" states, wherein certain items are considered to have belonged solely to one spouse -- and thus remain that person's property after the divorce. If you and your spouse cannot agree as to what you both should keep, a judge will decide for you based on your state's laws.
Does your spouse have to have done something wrong in order for you to file for divorce?
Years ago, you would have had to have proof that your spouse wronged you in some way, perhaps through adultery or abuse, in order to get a divorce. Today, no-fault divorces are allowed in all states. Essentially, a no-fault divorce does not require you to prove either spouse's wrongdoing. You are just divorcing because you no longer want to be together -- the court does not care why.
For more information and answers to your questions, contact a law firm in the area that handles divorces, such as Hazlett & Pedemonte.