The decision to end a marriage is not an easy one to make. While the vast majority of people have viewed divorce from the outside, having observed friends, family, or coworkers who have gone through it, most people are not fully prepared to handle all the tangled emotional and legal aspects of the divorce process once they are confronted with it first-hand. It is important to understand which matters a divorce decree will resolve and which it will not. An experienced divorce attorney can help with the legal side of divorce so you can concentrate on the other non-legal aspects.
Relational Aspects of Divorce
It is important to face head-on the legal reality of what a divorce does to relationships. It is the legal and final ending of one of the most significant commitments in your life. Statistics reveal that first marriages have a divorce rate of 40-45 percent, second marriages have a fail rate of 60 percent, and third marriages 73 percent. There is very little data on remarriage between the same spouses, although we know from anecdotal evidence that some couples do in fact get back together again after divorcing. However, given the higher divorce rate for second and third marriages in general, the odds are that, even if you do decide to remarry, the second attempt will probably not pan out any better than the first. Therefore, it would be imprudent to “try out” divorce as if it could easily and successfully be undone. If you are unsure, or if religious beliefs prevent you from getting one, a legal separation or an annulment may be a preferable course of action.
Child Relationships: Custody and Visitation
Not only does divorce alter your relationship with your spouse, it alters your relationship with your children. Many divorced individuals see their children less than they did when they were married. This is because of custody and timesharing agreements with the former spouse. In addition, there is a possibility that your ex-spouse’s future partner will spend significant time with your children even against your own wishes.
One thing divorce cannot do in a relationship is guarantee an end to strife with your ex-spouse. It can set rules, establish schedules and procedures, but it cannot stop bickering, fault-finding, or differences of opinion. That is something you and your ex-spouse have to work on over time.
There are many reasons to consider carefully the decision as to whether to divorce. There are serious emotional and relational consequences that are beyond the scope of legal assistance to fully address. The decision should therefore be considered carefully, possibly with the assistance of counseling, before the process is begun.
Financial Aspects of Divorce
A divorce decree will divide property and establish child and support guidelines, if necessary. This will help settle potentially divisive and far-reaching disagreements as to who owns what, and who will pay for various financial needs. Depending on the size and complexity of the marital estate, property division can be straightforward or complicated. The assistance of a legal professional is indispensable to ensuring that you receive the most favorable financial settlement the law will allow.
Contrary to what many individuals expect, property division and support orders are not necessarily equal in terms of obligation and benefits. Each couple and family situation is different, and a court will weigh assets and financial needs, both present and future, in determining an order that it deems fair. Fair does not necessarily, or even usually, mean equal.
The Law Offices of James S. Cunha provides family law services for clients in the counties of Palm Beach, Martin, Okeechobee, St. Lucie, Broward, Miami-Dade, and Hendry. Mr. Cunha is an excellent and experienced South Florida Divorce Lawyer who has attained a rating of 10 out of 10 on Avvo.com and rating of 5 out of 5 on Lawyers.com. Call today for a consultation at (561) 429-3924 or via email at [email protected].