Although perhaps our ancestors would be horrified, divorce these days seems to be almost as common as getting married in the first place. Every year, over 1 million people’s parents divorce or separate. Indeed, over 40% of first marriages are likely to dissolve, around 60% for a second marriage, and over 70% for a third marriage. Divorce proceedings can often be messy, long, and expensive, especially if the divorce isn’t amicable. The divorce forms can seem endless, the bickering over who gets the house, the kids, the mutual belongings exhausting, and the legal protocol confusing. Having a divorce lawyer may help you answer some of the questions you have about your divorce and what steps are best to take moving forward.
What Do the Divorce Statistics Look Like?
Admittedly, each marriage that ends in divorce ends for its own specific cocktail of reasons. However, there are some sweeping statistics that researchers have found. The top five reasons for divorce include: problem with communication between partners, cheating, money problems, abuse, or simply, lack of compatibility or sizzle. Also, interestingly enough, Western states tend to have both a higher marriage rate and a higher divorce rate, followed by Southern states. The Northeast boasts the lowest divorce rate — but also the lowest marriage rate.
Although some people have tried to combat the statistics by living together before marriage — sort of a test run, so to speak — that’s also no longer a predictor of whether a marriage will succeed or fail, says the Centers for Disease Control and Prevenetion, according to a study conducted in early 2012. However, on the positive side, it’s been shown that people who marry older and who have a good financial situation and degrees from higher education are more likely to stay together.
Contested Divorce? Uncontested Divorce? Huh?
If you’ve actually entered into divorce proceedings, you may feel al title bewildered by all the terms. What divorce forms do I need? What is a contested divorce? What is an uncontested divorce? Who should I ask for divorce advice? The best person for all of these questions is your divorce lawyer. You and your partner will probably each have your own divorce lawyer, so there’s no conflict of interest. He or she will be able to advise you what terms to propose or accept, what things might be crucial to fight for, and will advocate for you in court.
Depending on whether you have a contested divorce — a divorce in which one of the parties does not agree to the divorce or the terms initially set out in the divorce — or an uncontested divorce, the legal proceedings can be longer or shorter. Mediation can sometimes help solve these sorts of problems, but again, your divorce lawyer is going to be the best one to help you through all the steps.
If you’re going through a divorce, there are a number of emotional resources that can help you with this difficult time. Don’t just use your lawyer to help you pick up divorce forms — ask him or her about counseling or other resources that you can use for a happier and healthier start to your new chapter.