With the high Divorce Rate in America, You need to Prepare for Divorce Court
The divorce rate in America is high. Forty-three percent of first marriages end in divorce within 15 years. If you are in this situation, preparing for divorce court should be a significant concern.
Preparing for divorce court begins with talking to an attorney. Many attorneys, myself included, will give a free consultation when you contact them directly. Or, you can call the county bar association and get a consultation with a panel attorney for $40. Even if you decide to represent yourself, you should consult an attorney up front.
There are several things to consider when preparing for divorce court. First, there’s the paperwork. You have to file the Petition or Response, Summons, Income and Expense Declaration, Schedule of Assets and Debts, and Final Judgment paperwork. You may also need to file an Order to Show Cause if you need temporary orders.
Then there’s the mediation aspect of the case. If you have children and do not agree on custody and visitation issues, you will need to be prepared to talk to the court’s mediator, a master’s level counselor or social worker who will help you work out these issues.
If things cannot be settled in mediation, you may be ordered to undergo a 730 Evaluation. In preparing for divorce court, have your attorney advise you on how to handle these evaluations which are done by a Clinical Psychologist.
When you have property to divide, it is usually preferable to work it out among yourselves. The attorneys on both sides can do what is called a “Four Way Negotiation” so you can avoid getting the Judge involved.
But if you do have to go to court, you want your attorney to advocate for you. You don’t want to be in the situation of being your own lawyer! This is something that can really hurt you.
The divorce rate in America is higher than that of other western countries. But, if you are preparing for divorce court, you should have an attorney by your side.
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