Marriage stands as one of the oldest and most universal institutions in the world, with the traditional goal of uniting a man and woman together into a single household that can produce and raise children. Today, many parts of the world have also legalized same-sex marriage, and many same-sex couples may adopt children and raise them in a household. But at the same time, the legal end of a marriage, divorce, is also common. When two spouses decide that their marriage must be terminated, they may want divorce advice from their divorce attorneys, and a complex divorce may also involve not just divorce lawyers, but also child custody lawyers, too. A client may get solid divorce advice and guidance from their legal reps, and a spouse might interact only with their other spouse through those lawyers. Simple divorces, though, might only call for a divorce mediator rather than a full-blown case in divorce court. Mediators don’t necessarily offer divorce advice on their own, but they can help keep communication fair and productive between the divorcing spouses.
Why Divorce Happens
What might bring about the end of a marriage? Many studies and statistics are kept to track how Americans marry and get divorced, and some general trends have emerged. Today in the United States, the divorce rate is somewhere between 40-50%, and a number of causes may bring about a divorce. At the top of the list is sheer infidelity, when one spouse is unfaithful to the other. Both men and women are known to “cheat,” but not always for the same reasons. The other spouse may suffer a terrible emotional blow from discovering an affair, and if marriage counseling does not remedy the situation, the spouses might then divorce.
Abuse in some form is another common reason to reach out to divorce law firms and get divorce advice from lawyers. One spouse may be violent toward other members of the household, and the other spouse and their children may relocate to another residence for their own safety during divorce. Often in cases of abuse, men are the abusive party, but in other households, women are in fact the abusers toward their spouse or children. The main difference is that women more often use tools such as knives or rods to strike and harm other household members. Drug abuse on one spouse’s part may prompt a divorce as well, since drug or alcohol abuse radically changes the user’s personality, may lead to violent behavior, and may put a massive financial strain on the household.
Not all divorces are so dramatic or traumatic, however. Other divorces happen for more subtle reasons, such as if the two spouses realize that they are not compatible and are struggling to make a cohesive marriage or household. Falling out of live can happen, and the two spouses may also have very different lifestyles or spending habits that make a marriage difficult. It may also be noted that two people who dated for three or more years before their engagement are less likely to divorce than two people who got engaged early in their relationship.
If a spouse is determined to divorce, they might reach out to local divorce law firms and consult the lawyers who work there (this may or may not incur a fee) and hire a lawyer at their discretion. The spouse might interact with their other spouse only through their lawyer, who will represent their interests during the case. The other spouse might hire their own lawyer to represent them. Through their lawyers, the two spouses will negotiate or debate assets in the marriage and settle the terms, such as contesting a car, a house, bank accounts, or even family jewelry or a privately owned business. If an under-18 child is in the household, child custody lawyers may be involved, too.
Mediators may help oversee lower-intensity divorces, where the two spouses have less to fight over and may handle the terms themselves. The mediator won’t take sides; instead, they will help the two spouses keep coming up with productive and fair ideas, and maintain clear communication to make the divorce smoother. What is more, mediated divorces tend to be much cheaper and more private than ones that go to court.