The Hujber Law Group knows that contemplating divorce is difficult and the
divorce process can be a trying time. Whether or not you are sure you want to
end your marriage, it helps to know your rights and obligations. Should you
decide that divorce is necessary, the Hujber Law Group will provide you with
exceptional representation through the divorce process. Working with an experienced
family law attorney will help you get through the process and begin your new
Grounds for Divorce
Generally, a divorce will be granted if one spouse states that the marriage
has irretrievably broken down or the couple has irreconcilable differences.
A divorce is a judicial decree by which a valid marriage is terminated.
Resolving Issues During Divorce
The divorce process will divide the couple’s assets and debts; determine
the future care and custody of their children; and give each person the legal
right to marry someone else.
Before a divorce may be granted, five basic issues typically must be resolved.
- Property and debt division
- Child custody
- Parenting time (visitation)
- Child support
- Alimony/spousal support
If the couple can reach an agreement on these issues, then the divorce is
uncontested. However, if the couple cannot agree, the divorce is considered
contested. The parties may go to Court to resolve the issues. This means that
a family court judge will make the final decisions. Some courts may order the
parties to try to resolve their differences by participating in alternatives
dispute resolution, usually mediation.
Alternative Dispute Resolution alternatives include
- Mediation. Mediation, when successful, can be less expensive and less stressful
for divorcing couples and their children. In the mediation process, the couple
works with a trained mediator to reach agreement on contested issues.
- Arbitration. Instead of a judge deciding the outcome, the parties agree
to use an arbitrator. Usually, each spouse will have a separate attorney who
will represent each spouse’s interests and the parties will agree that
the arbitrator’s decision will either be binding or non-binding.
- Collaborative Divorce. The collaborative divorce process requires an up-front
commitment to resolving disputes by negotiation, compromise and agreement.
The collaborative divorce process has helped many couples settle their difference
without the need for expensive and prolonged litigation.
Alimony, Spousal Support and Maintenance
Alimony (sometimes also called spousal support or maintenance) is financial
support that one spouse pays to another. There are many types of alimony. The
alimony can come in a lump sum, for a limited period of time or indefinitely.
Factors that the court may consider in determining alimony include the length
of the marriage, the standard of living during the marriage and the ability
of each spouse to earn a living in the future.
Division of Property
Courts typically make an equitable division of property between the divorcing
spouses. Equitable means fair and not necessarily equal. The court makes the
decision based on many factors, including the circumstances of the divorce and
the financial and non-financial contributions of each party to the marriage.