During a divorce, a spouse will likely have his or her best interest in mind, meaning that he or she will act in a way that will give himself or herself an advantage upon separation. Usually, this advantage is on the financial aspect, so it is not surprising that property division is one of the hottest disputes during divorce.
According to the website of the Maynard Law Firm, PLLC, division of property may be a complicated enough legal process to warrant the help of property division lawyers. How properties can be divided are simply explained below so you can have a background on how it works.
Community Property is one of the ways properties can be divided upon divorce. Under this legal concept, there are two kinds of properties – community property and property of a spouse.
Community property is a property owned by both spouses. This may include cash accumulated during the marriage and all properties that have been bought using that cash. On the other hand, property of a spouse is a property owned solely by one of the spouses, such as gifts, inheritances, and properties that have been acquired even before the marriage.
During divorce, community properties are divided evenly for the spouses and properties of a spouse remain to that spouse.
Depending on the state, division of property can be done through community property or equitable distribution. Equitable distribution is the fair division of properties to either spouse. The important word here is “fair,” and it should be noted that it is not synonymous to “equal.”
The idea behind equitable distribution is to give the spouses what they rightfully deserve. Typically, equitable distribution cases do not split properties fifty-fifty. The spouse who have contributed more to the accumulation of assets, or the spouse that is going to be more economically affected by the separation, can have a bigger share, depending on how the court sees fairness.
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Deciding to end their marriage is one of the toughest decisions that couples can make. There are many people who will get affected but the biggest impact of the planned divorce are the children. Couples decide to get divorced if they can no longer resolve their differences. Although the ultimate goal is to make the marriage last, it can be hard to do that if the married couple no longer have love for each other.
Raleigh divorce lawyers will tell you that filing for divorce can be a difficult process. It will entail a lot of paperwork, court hearings, and others. If the divorcing couple have children and properties to divide, the process becomes even more difficult. The process starts with the filing of a petition for divorce. The petition should state the grounds for the filing of divorce. Valid reasons include “irreconcilable differences,” adultery or abandonment.
After the filing of the petition comes the issuance of temporary orders. This is especially true in child custody issues or financial support. The temporary order is usually approved a few days after the filing and is valid until a court hearing takes place. If the party seeking temporary order is the one who filed the petition, it should be filed at the same time. Otherwise, the request should be filed as soon as possible.
Next, the spouse who filed for divorce should also file proof of service of process. This is a document that proves that a copy of the petition was already forwarded to the other party. If there is a mutual agreement on the divorce, it is best for the filing spouse to arrange a service of process to the other party’s attorney. Service of process can either be dignified or undignified or somewhere in between.
The next step is the response from the party who receives the service of process. It the petition was based on fault grounds and the responding party wants to dispute those grounds, they should properly address it in the response. If there is a disagreement with the terms of property division, support, custody, and other matters, it should be properly stated on the response.
If the spouses do not agree with all the issues, negotiation is necessary for the settlement of differences. If the issue of disagreement is child custody or visitation, mediation may be necessary. Division of property and spousal support may also require negotiation.
All unresolved issues will have to be resolved at a trial. The downside of this is that it will take more time and money so it is recommended to avoid going to trial.
Finally, when all the issues at hand have been resolved, the court issues an order of dissolution effectively ending the marriage. When the parties negotiated their own resolution to all the issues, they will submit a draft to the court for approval.
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Marriage is like a fairy tale story. The couple aspires to “live happily ever after.” Some couple are able to achieve the fairy tale ending but unfortunately, a great number of married couples end up filing a divorce. Recent figures revealed that there is one divorce approximately every 30 seconds which translates to 2,400 divorces daily, 16,800 weekly, and 876,000 divorces yearly. In addition, the average length of a marriage that ends in divorce is 8 years. The waiting period for people to remarry after a divorce is three years.
According to the website of Alexander & Associates, divorce extends beyond couples deciding to end their marriage. It also involves division of properties, separation of finances, and decisions about the future of their children, if any. In the United States, there are different kinds of divorce that a couple can file. Throughout the process, both parties must hire an attorney to help them.
First implemented in California in 1970, no-fault divorce happens when neither party involved in the divorce is required to proof fault of their spouses. In this type of divorce, the grounds for filing are irreconcilable differences, incompatibility, and irremediable breakdown of the marriage.
In contrast, at-fault divorce requires one or both parties to prove who is at-fault. So far, only the state of New York requires fault to be proven during the divorce process. If no fault was found, the divorce will not be ratified and the couple stays legally married. If the couple is separated, they are not legally allowed to marry anyone else.
In summary divorce, the couple are able to agree on key issues prior to the hearing or satisfy certain eligibility requirements. Among the issues for summary divorce include a short marriage of five years, no children, minimal or no real property, marital property is less than $35,000 and each spouse’s property is the same as the marital property.
With this type of divorce, the parties have agreed to major issues such as child custody, visitation, child support, and others. An uncontested divorce also has one of the spouse opting not to participate in the proceedings.
Both parties attend multiple sessions with a professional mediator in order to resolve their differences. The mediator serves as a neutral party and will inform the judge whether or not there was an agreement.
There is no court hearing in a collaborative divorce. Instead what happens is the couple meets their lawyers, third parties, and other experts in order to come up with the best result for the whole family. The couple does not focus on their own rights but merely on finding a holistic result for the good of the parties involved.
When the court hearing seems to be going nowhere, arbitration is the next best option. There is a neutral attorney who is not connected to the case. Unlike in a trial, the result of the arbitration cannot be appealed.
A contested divorce takes place when all attempts to settle differences have failed. The only way this kind of divorce will be settled is through a trial.
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