Divorces can be quick and easy or extended and stressful and how they go depends on the couple. The more issues you and your spouse can agree on, the better. Unfortunately, some couples have to take things to court to settle things. To get a better idea of what might happen when divorce gets problematic, read on.
Understanding Contentious Issues
Divorce is comprised of many things. An agreement must be made on all of the below to make a complete divorce. Things cannot be finalized until the couple either agree on everything or if a judge orders it final. In all cases, anything that looks fair to the judge will be approved by them, so couples might want to take a look at the below issues and try to come to an agreement on some or all of them.
- Marital debt: Joint debts should be paid off or split down the middle. All personal debt should be owned by the party. In many cases, the party that ends up with the property is also responsible for paying the debt, such as with a mortgage.
- Marital property: Anything bought or acquired after the date of the marriage falls into this category, excluding personal gifts and inheritances.
- Child custody: This may be either joint or shared 50/50. With joint custody, one parent has primary physical custody and the other has visitation rights.
- Spousal support: This may be temporary, such as just during the separation period, rehabilitative, or permanent.
One issue not decided on by the parties is child support. Child support is based on state and federal guidelines and the income of the parties.
When One Party Is Uncooperative
Unfortunately, some couples are so far apart with their ideas about divorce that even the divorce itself in contention. That can mean there is a spouse that disagrees with the divorce. You don't need to have both parties' cooperation to divorce, however. In fact, when the other party refuses to participate in the divorce at all, you might be awarded everything you asked for in the filing. That is known as a default divorce.
When Issues Are in Contention
Anything can hold up a divorce even when both parties want a resolution. The way this is dealt with can vary, but the idea is to delay or eliminate a divorce trial. This may be done using mediation and a gathering of information so the judge can make a decision. Divorce mediation involves out-of-court talks with an expert at conflict resolution so that compromises and agreements happen. If child custody is an issue, the judge could order a child study to be performed to evaluate the parenting abilities of the parties.
Speak to a divorce attorney to learn more.