Marriage is one of the world’s oldest institutions, practiced around the world to create a reproducing household of a man and woman. Today, some parts of the world have also legalized and recognized same-sex marriage, and many same-sex household are known to adopt children. At the same time, divorce has also become more common, which is the legal end of a marriage (and not just a legal separation of the two spouses). Today’s divorce mediation services, divorce attorneys, and more are ready to help spouses who want to legally end their marriage, and divorce mediators may help with the simpler marriages. For complex marriages with a lot of assets to fight over, divorce lawyers will probably be called in, not to mention child custody lawyers if need be. To be sure, no one actually enjoys divorce, but divorce mediation services and lawyers can help make this process smoother, more fair, and more productive for every party involved.
Why Divorce Happens
Why might someone file for divorce and call upon lawyers or divorce mediation services in the area? Many studies are done to track both marriage and divorce in the United States, and some common reasons have emerged. At the top of the list is infidelity, when one spouse is unfaithful to the other and is later caught somehow. Both men and women are known to cheat, often for different reasons, and the emotional trauma of this may prompt the other spouse to file for divorce. Another common reason is drug or alcohol abuse on one spouse’s part, as substance abuse may cause radical personality changes or even violent behavior. Not to mention the financial strain that substance abuse often brings, such as losing one’s job due to drug use or alcoholism. Some households suffer from a spouse who is verbally, violently, or even sexually abusive toward other family members, whether or not drugs and alcohol fueled that behavior.
Not all divorce causes are so dramatic, however. Some marriages end simply because the two spouses realize that they have very little compatibility, and they may have very different lifestyles and spending habits. Often, a marriage with minimal assets and drama may only require divorce mediation services rather than lawyers, but any spouse filing for divorce should be sure that they are calling upon the correct services for their needs.
When a spouse files for divorce, they may turn to local divorce law firms to find and hire an attorney to represent them and their interests, and the other spouse may do the same. These spouses may negotiate ownership of various assets in the household before the household is dissolved, including vehicles, a house or vacation home, money in bank accounts, or even family heirlooms or a privately owned business. Such items may be hotly contested, certainly under-18 children. Child custody lawyers may be hired by both spouses to see where the child may end up. Any child aged 12 and up may speak privately with the judge about his or her living preferences after the divorce. Nothing is being guaranteed here, but a spouse who has a stable income and no substance abuse problem may be more likely to win custody of a child.
If one spouse is showing abusive behavior, the other might relocate to a different, private residence during this proceeding, and only interact with their spouse through a lawyer for their own safety. This person might also bring their children with them.
Divorces with fewer assets to fight over may only require divorce mediation services rather than lawyers, and this may be a relatively cheap and straightforward process. These divorce mediation services are popular since they are generally much less expensive and time consuming than going through courts, and they’re more private, too. In this case, the divorcing spouses will negotiate in person how to handle their divorce and its terms, and a mediator will act as a neutral third party to help. That mediator will draw out constructive and good ideas from each spouse to keep the proceedings going smoothly, and that mediator may help ensure constant and clear communication between both parties. The mediator will not offer their own ideas or opinion, though, unless the divorcing spouses ask for it first.