Should I get a divorce?

This is not a question for a lawyer, it is for you and your spouse. If you are asking this question, you may not have explored all your options for staying married.

How long does it take to get divorced?

All cases are different. The time involved will depend upon how complicated your other issues are (property division, support, child custody, alimony, etc.) It will also depend on how cooperative you and your spouse can be and the philosophies of the lawyers involved. Sometimes divorces are delayed for a reason, one being so that one spouse can remain on the other spouse’s health insurance coverage.

What do I have to do to get divorced?

In most cases you need to file paperwork with the court where you live to say that you want a divorce and say why the court should give it to you. The “why” part is called the “grounds” for divorce, it is the basis for allowing the marital bond to be broken. Before there were no fault divorces, people had to prove that one spouse in the marriage had acted badly, such as through adultery or cruelty to the other spouse. With no fault divorces, people only have to prove that the marriage is broken and cannot be fixed. The way people do that varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but it typically is just a matter of both spouses signing a piece of paper that says the marriage is over.

How much does it cost to get divorced?

The cost of divorce varies widely from case to case. Part of the cost is filing fees for the court to process the paperwork. Legal fees charged by an attorney are the other major expense in a divorce. Legal fees typically are based on the amount of time an attorney takes working for the client. If there are other people working on the case, such as associate attorneys, paralegals or support staff there may be fees billed for their time as well.

Do I need a lawyer to get divorced?

You should seek professional legal advice when you go through a divorce. The way the law works can be complicated. For instance, you may require that your spouse pay you money so that you can support yourself or your children. On the opposite side, you may require that you be protected from having to pay so much to your spouse that you cannot support yourself. Issues like this are serious and solid legal representation can make the difference of whether your rights are recognized or not.

I am very distraught over my divorce, where can I turn for help?

First, know that if you are feeling badly, you are not alone. Divorce is one of the most traumatic life experiences people face. People going through divorce can turn to mental health professionals, clergy, family and friends for guidance and support during this difficult process. In addition, websites like this can offer information, shared experiences and other materials to guide you as you move forward.