The Truth About the Divorce Rate
Data from the National Survey of Family Growth determined the probability of a first marriage lasting at least a decade was 68% for women and 70% for men between 2006 and 2010. The probability that they would make it 20 years was 52% for women and 56% for men.
So what’s with the whole 50% thing? The original claim was made in a 1980 census report that predicted half of the couples married between 1976 and 1977 would eventually end up divorced and that rates would only increase from there.
The Steps of the Divorce Process
Whatever your reason for considering divorce, there are set steps you will need to take to get divorced. Hence, we bring you a “how-to” for getting divorced.
Step 1: Decide How to Proceed
How you begin your divorce will be dependent on the particulars of your marriage and your relationship. A divorce of a marriage where the spouses have been married for a short period of time, have no children, and little property or debts is typically less involved than a divorce where the couple has been married for a long period of time, shares minor children, or where there is significant property or debt to be divided. If both parties are seeking the divorce, the process will most likely be easier, versus a situation where one spouse is contesting the divorce. You will need to take a look at your specific situation in order to best gauge how you want to proceed.
Step 2: The Divorce Petition
To start the divorce process one of the spouses must file a divorce petition. Even if both spouses are in agreement, one of them must file a petition that states the grounds of the divorce with the court asking for the divorce. Grounds for the divorce vary from state to state. California is a no-fault state, meaning no fault is placed on either party regardless of infidelity, etc… But all jurisdictions allow for some type of no-fault grounds such as “irreconcilable differences.” Some states will consider fault grounds for divorce, such as adultery or abandonment. A family law attorney will be able to advise you your state specific laws regarding grounds for divorce
Step 3: Temporary Orders
If one spouse is seeking to receive financial support (as alimony) or custody of children, that spouse will need to ask the court for temporary orders for that support and custody. This temporary order is usually granted within a few days of the initial petition and will remain in effect until the full divorce court hearing. If the party seeking the temporary order is the same party who is filing the divorce petition, it’s advised that they file both the divorce petition and the temporary order at the same time. If you are not the party that filed the divorce petition, but are looking for support or child custody, you should file your request for that support as soon as possible.
Step 4: Proof of Service and Responding
Once a spouse files for divorce he or she also needs to file for a proof of service of process. This document proves that a copy of the divorce petition was given to the other party. Your family law attorney can help ensure this is done, or you can work with a process server. If both spouses have agreed to divorce, it’s usually the spouse that files the divorce that arranges for the the service of process to the other party’s attorney.
When the service of process is received, that spouse needs to file a response to the divorce petition. In states where grounds for divorce can be filed, this response is where to address or dispute those grounds for divorce. Also, if the spouse receiving the petition has any disagreement with the put forth property division, support, custody terms, or any other issue, this should be added to the response.
Step 5: Negotiating
When two spouses are not in agreement on child custody and visitation, child support, property division and any spousal support, they will need to find a way to negotiate the terms of their divorce. Disagreeing spouses might consider working with a meditation lawyer, as it is in their best interest to work out as much as possible out of court. This will help to cut down on legal fees and time spent arguing. The negotiation process is the hardest part of the divorce process. As we all know from public divorce disputes, the negotiations can sometimes take years if a couple is not able to come to an agreement.
Step 6: Order of Dissolution
Once everything is decided upon an order of dissolution is created that outlines out how the property and debts are to be divided, what child custody and visitation schedule is, what support payments (spousal and child) need to be paid, and any other aspects that have been agreed on. If the spouses are able to negotiate their own resolution to all of these aspects, their lawyers will draft the order of dissolution and submit it to the court. If the Order of Dissolution complies with legal requirements and both parties entered into it knowingly and willingly and can attest to it, then the judge approves it. At this point, the divorce is finalized.
Moving Forward After Divorce
There are some pointers we can offer once you begin to move forward from your divorce.
Yup, it’s true, hindsight is 20/20. You have to walk through something, get a far way ahead of it, and only then can you look back and see just how important that process was. At that point you can see the beginning, the middle, and the end, and how that end is so clear and empty of emotional and clutter. Take this new clarity and run with it. That perspective can give you amazing information you need to change your own behaviors and to improve your future relationships.
Gratitude After Divorce
After you lose everything, you take nothing for granted. Divorce can be like losing everything: past memories, your present marriage, and future dreams. Let that be your determination to survive. But this is also a time to lean on friends and family that stepped up and stood by. They will lift you up, even when you can’t lift yourself. Be grateful for them, and try to show them that you are. If not now, then try to later. Sometimes the Thanksgiving holiday makes this process of showing gratitude easier – it’s a whole holiday built around being thankful. Try to focus on that aspect of the holiday, rather than on what you might no longer have.
When you have felt pain, you honor and respect that pain in others. Divorce can make you more empathetic towards people facing any form of loss. You will move towards acceptance and forgiveness of your situation and your ex. And with this movement will come the ability to see things from other people’s viewpoints, making you a better friend, and a better person to be in a relationship with (down the line, when you are ready for one).
Divorce wipes away the ego that believes it’s shameful to ask for help. After you admonish this, you will be able to accept help for yourself, and then be able to offer help to others who are in need.
It’s easy to blame your ex, to place the responsibility for the divorce in his or her hands. We also might realize that all too often we have looked to them to provide happiness or support for making decisions. This interdependency ends with divorce. It’s good to be interdependent, but divorce requires that you learn to be independent. You’re going to be steering this ship on your own, and maybe steering it through the holidays on your own. You’re going to have to be responsible for your own things now: happiness, support, etc. Let this empower you though rather than make you feel lost or scared. You’re completely in control now. You can change. It’s your life now.
Divorce teaches us that no matter how much we want something to be true, we can’t force it into being. All those choice you made have consequences. And maybe now you are being forced to see them. Sure, you might have said “divorce will never happen to me,” but now it has. You’re going to have to admit that it can happen to anyone. Let this “slap” of reality force you to embrace acceptance while also redefining expectations. You’re not immune to anything.
Divorce can be a wake-up call. Often times people realize they were living in a kind of “auto-pilot” mode when they said their “I dos.” The clarity and awareness you have after saying your “I Un-dos” might provide you with a sense of awareness that wasn’t there before. A lot of people turn to meditation and yoga during the divorce process because it settles the mind to allow for awareness. This mindfulness and consciousness will be helpful moving forward in your new life.
Divorce is also a way to test your abilities… all of them. Your negotiating skills, your financial skills, your balanced budgeting skills, co-parenting abilities. You are the only problem solver now. You will need to work out how to afford your rent on a portion of the budget you once had. You will also need to learn how to co-parent, potentially with an ex you hate (for now). But the more you are placed in these new positions, the better you will become at those tasks.
Wisdom from Divorce
Divorce can be an opportunity for reflection and analysis. You are now raw and ready to learn new ways of doing things, in addition to just learning new ways to move on and cope.
Working with A Family Law Attorney
When it comes to the actual legal process of a divorce, you’ll want to work with a skilled family law attorney There are a number of things that need to be considered during a divorce: child support, spousal support, marital property division, and other things. Working with a skilled attorney can help ensure you get a fair case. For advice on divorce, child custody determinations, setting up a co-parenting agreement, dividing marital property, and spousal support you need the expert law firm of Divorce Law LA. Schedule a consultation today.
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