22 Dec 10 Questions You Might Have Pre-Divorce
Deciding to get a divorce is a deeply personal decision that only you can make. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question, as every individual and every marriage is unique. However, some common indicators that a person may be thinking about getting divorced include the following:
- The marriage has been marked by ongoing conflict and bitterness, and the couple has been unable to resolve their differences.
- One or both spouses has lost interest in the marriage and no longer feels emotionally invested in making it work.
- One or both spouses have engaged in behavior that has damaged their trust and emotional bond.
- The couple has experienced significant changes that have strained the marriage and made it difficult for them to connect.
- One or both spouses have grown apart and no longer share common goals or values.
Ultimately, the decision to get a divorce should not be made lightly, and it’s crucial for individuals to carefully consider their feelings and the state of their marriage before making a decision. Aside from the emotional status, here are ten questions you might ask yourself pre-divorce:
What are the grounds for divorce in my state?
In California, the grounds for divorce are that the marriage has irretrievably broken down. This means that the couple has experienced irreconcilable differences that have caused the marriage breakdown and that there is no reasonable chance of reconciling. The couple does not need to prove that one spouse was at fault for the marriage breakdown.
Can I get a divorce if my spouse doesn’t want one?
In some cases, it may be possible for one spouse to get a divorce even if the other spouse does not want one. This “no-fault” divorce is available in many states, including California. In a no-fault divorce, the spouse who wants to get a divorce does not have to prove that the other spouse did anything wrong or was at fault for the marriage breakdown. Instead, the spouse seeking the divorce must only show that the marriage has broken down and that there is no reasonable chance of reconciling.
Even in a no-fault divorce, however, the spouse who does not want the divorce may still contest it or try to negotiate the terms of the divorce. It’s essential for the spouse seeking the divorce to be prepared for this possibility and to work closely with a lawyer to ensure that their rights are protected throughout the process.
How will our assets and debts be divided during the divorce?
The division of assets and debts during a divorce is known as property division, and it can be a complex and contentious process. In most states, including California, property, and debts acquired during the marriage are considered “marital property” and are subject to division during the divorce. This means that the court will determine how to fairly and equitably divide the couple’s assets and debts, taking into account various factors such as the length of the marriage, each spouse’s income and earning potential, and the needs of any children involved.
In some cases, the couple may be able to come to a mutually agreeable settlement on their own, with the help of their lawyers, and avoid having the court make decisions for them. However, if the couple cannot reach an agreement, the court will decide how to divide the property and debts based on the facts of the case and the applicable laws.
Will I have to pay or receive spousal support?
Whether or not one spouse will have to pay spousal support (also known as alimony) to the other spouse during or after divorce will depend on various factors. In some cases, a court may order one spouse to pay spousal support to the other if there is a significant disparity in their income or earning potential or if one spouse sacrificed their career or educational opportunities to support the other spouse or the family. The amount and duration of spousal support will be determined based on several factors, including the length of the marriage, each spouse’s earning capacity, and their ability to pay.
It’s important to note that not every divorce will result in one spouse having to pay spousal support to the other. The court will carefully consider the circumstances of the individual case and determine whether spousal support is appropriate and, if so, how much and how long it should be paid.
How will our children be affected by divorce?
Divorce can be difficult and stressful for children, even if their parents have a relatively amicable relationship. Children may experience various emotions, from sadness and confusion to anger and fear. They may also feel a sense of loss or grief over the end of their parent’s marriage and the changes it brings to their family dynamic.
It’s essential for parents to be understanding and supportive of their children during this time and to work together to minimize the adverse effects of divorce on their children. This may involve maintaining a consistent routine, avoiding conflicts and arguments in front of the children, and providing emotional support and reassurance. Parents may also want to consider seeking the help of a therapist or counselor who can provide guidance and support to the whole family during the divorce process.
Can I get temporary orders for child custody and support during the divorce process?
In many cases, obtaining temporary orders for child custody and support may be necessary during a divorce. These orders can provide essential safeguards for the children and the parents, ensuring that the children’s needs are met and that the parents can fulfill their obligations during the divorce process.
Temporary orders for child custody and support can be obtained through the court, typically based on the children’s best interests. The court will consider various factors, such as the child’s relationship with each parent, the child’s age and needs, and the ability of each parent to provide for the child’s physical and emotional needs. The court may also consider any history of domestic violence or abuse in making its decision.
Temporary orders for child custody and support are typically only in place until the divorce is finalized and a permanent custody and support agreement is reached. However, they can provide substantial protection and support during a difficult divorce.
How long will the divorce process take?
The length of time it takes to get a divorce will vary depending on many factors, including the complexity of the case and the willingness of the parties to cooperate and reach a settlement. Sometimes, a divorce may be finalized relatively quickly, within a few months or weeks. In other cases, particularly disputes over assets, custody, or support, the divorce process may take much longer, potentially lasting for many months or even years.
It’s important to note that the divorce process can be unpredictable, and it’s not always possible to estimate precisely how long it will take. Each case is unique, and the length of time it takes to get a divorce will depend on the specific circumstances of the individual situation. It’s best to work closely with a professional who can provide guidance and support throughout the process and help ensure the divorce is resolved as efficiently as possible.
Do I need to hire a lawyer for the divorce?
Whether or not to hire a lawyer for a divorce is a personal decision that will depend on the individual circumstances of the case. In many cases, couples may successfully navigate the divorce process on their own with the help of resources such as online legal services, divorce mediators, and legal document providers. In other cases, particularly those complex involving issues such as the division of significant assets or disputes over child custody, it may be necessary to hire a lawyer to represent one or both parties in the divorce.
A lawyer can provide expert guidance and advice on the legal aspects of the divorce, such as property division, child custody, and support. They can also provide valuable support and representation in court, helping to ensure that your rights and interests are protected throughout the divorce process.
Ultimately, the decision to hire a lawyer for divorce will depend on the individual circumstances of the case and the specific needs and goals of the parties involved. It may be helpful to speak with several lawyers and compare their experience and qualifications before deciding.
Can we try to reach a settlement agreement without going to court?
In many cases, it may be possible for divorcing couples to reach a settlement agreement without going to court. This can be a more efficient and cost-effective way to resolve the issues in a divorce and allow the parties to maintain more control over the outcome. A settlement agreement is a legally binding contract that outlines the terms of the divorce, including issues such as property division, child custody and support, and alimony.
There are several ways that couples can try to reach a settlement agreement without going to court. One option is mediation, where a neutral third party helps the couple communicate and negotiate to get an agreement. Another option is to use collaborative divorce, where spouses and their representatives work together to settle without going to court.
It’s important to note that not every couple can reach a settlement agreement without going to court. Sometimes, the issues may be too complex or contentious to resolve without judicial intervention. In these cases, the parties may need to go to court to have a judge decide for them. However, for many couples, reaching a settlement agreement without going to court can be a beneficial and effective way to resolve their differences and move forward with their lives.
How will the divorce affect my health insurance coverage?
The effects of divorce on health insurance coverage will depend on the specific circumstances of the individual situation. In some cases, one spouse may be able to continue receiving health insurance coverage through the other spouse’s employer-provided plan. This is known as continuation coverage or “COBRA” coverage. In other cases, the divorce may result in one spouse losing access to their spouse’s health insurance plan, and they may need to obtain their health insurance coverage through a private insurer or the marketplace. It’s important for individuals going through a divorce to consider the effects on their health insurance coverage carefully and to take steps to ensure that they have adequate coverage.
The Bottom Line
As you can tell, many aspects and considerations must be made. Guideway Legal is an experienced, neutral third party that guides divorcing couples through the issues that have stalled their divorce, helping them reach a mutually acceptable resolution. There’s no judge, no winning or losing. Instead, our Guided Divorce is based on the principles of negotiation, open-mindedness, and compromise. We’re here to help!
For additional information and to talk to a professional, contact us.