No one enters into a marriage looking forward to the time in the future when your marriage ends and you go through a divorce together. It’s a hard fact of life that so many marriages end in divorce, and it’s never easy on anyone, especially the children.
Nobody wants to make such a decision lightly. While some people manage to put aside their differences and marry the same partners again, divorce is permanent for most people. You will likely go through the stages of grief, such as denial and anger.
Divorce is a deeply personal decision and no one can tell you if it is right for you. There are legal considerations that should be discussed with an experienced divorce attorney and there are also other considerations that are best addressed with a therapist or other mental health professional.
If you are considering divorce, here are some questions you can ask yourself to see if divorce is something you should explore further:
Do I Really Understand All The Consequences Of Getting Divorced?
Whether or not you feel sure that you want to go through with it, you should at least seek the advice of a divorce attorney before making the final decision. Your divorce lawyer can give you legal advice and explain to you what will typically happen considering your particular situation.
A divorce lawyer can help you understand child support, child custody (parenting time and legal decision-making), alimony (spousal maintenance), division of marital assets, and many other important issues.
Do I Feel That My Marriage Is Irretrievably Broken?
If you feel that you can work out your issues, and you want to keep your marriage, there are steps you can take to try to save your marriage first. You may try to talk to your spouse, find an individual therapist to work on your issues or go to couples counseling with your spouse. The first step to dealing with marital problems shouldn’t be the total dissolution of the marriage.
What Is The Real Reason I Want To Get Divorced?
You should always question your own motives, especially when it comes to such important decisions. There are many reasons couples get divorced, and you may want to consider if divorce is really the solution.
Did you get married because it was expected of you? Are you and your spouse just too different in your expectations? Is there domestic violence in the marriage? You don’t have to stay in a relationship that makes you miserable; that doesn’t help you or your children.
However, if the reason you are thinking about getting divorced is situation-specific, you may want to consider if there is an easier way to solve the problem. When a couple is committed, they can work through many difficult problems together.
If you are a victim of domestic violence, you may need to talk about getting an order to protect you and the children from your spouse. We can help you understand the Arizona domestic violence laws so you can get the help you need.
Can I Put Aside My Ego To Try To Make An Agreement With My Ex?
The process will be easier for everyone if you go into it, deciding to start a divorce, not a war. This isn’t the time to go on social media and get your friends to start taking sides or try to score points against your ex in petty ways.
You might want to see a marriage counselor even if you are divorcing so that you can deal with some of your unresolved issues.
Sometimes people get so caught up in the emotions of divorcing that they are able to forget their real goals. Even if you are angry at your spouse, it will be better for you to deal with the dissolution peacefully so that when your divorce is finalized, you can move on with your life and be happy.
Which One Of Us Will Get The Children or Pay Child Support?
In Arizona, both parents are expected to make decisions about their children jointly, so long as both parents are fit to do so. Child support and custody can be the most contentious issues, but they don’t have to be, especially if you keep in mind that you have to do this at least until your children are grown.
You will find you’re happiest when you can work out a parenting plan with your ex about child custody issues. You want what’s best for your children, and so does your ex, but it can be hard to see past the anger when you are going through the grieving process associated with divorce.
Because of the focus on shared parenting, both parents will usually have equal parenting time instead of having custody and visitation so long as it is in the best interests of the children.
How Long Does The Divorce Process Take?
When everyone can agree and things go smoothly, the divorce process in Maricopa County will generally take about three months. If you can’t agree, the process could drag out for a year or more. Some couples keep coming back to argue in court years later.
Going to Court is always stressful, no matter how many times you do it. You will also be wasting a lot of time and money on attorney fees if you decide to be litigious.
Should We Try Legal Separation First?
When you get a legal separation, you can get the benefits of divorce without the finality. There will still be child support or spousal support order, if applicable, and a division of community assets and debts.
Some people choose separation as a trial run so they can handle alimony and child support issues and then decide about the marriage later. Legal separation is right for some people but not everyone. If you are considering a legal separation you should consult with an experienced family law attorney to discuss all the ramifications of a legal separation.
Which Assets Are Part Of The Marriage?
When you divorce in Arizona, you will need to divvy up the marital estate. You will need to understand your financial situation fully, so you are sure you are being treated fairly. If you do not have access to all of your financial information, Arizona law provides tools for you to obtain the information.
With mediation, you can learn to work out your issues in a neutral environment where you don’t feel as much pressure. Trials are so expensive and stressful, and mediation helps parties go through a process where they find common ground and decide together what is best.
The divorce mediator is a neutral party who will facilitate communication between the married couple without judgment.
Your future ex-spouse may be the last person you want to work with to reach an agreement, but if you go to trial, the judge will make all those important decisions about your life for you.
Instead of finding a compromise, you will simply receive an order from someone who doesn’t know you about how much time you can spend with your children or what should happen with your property.
Most people agree that when they have worked to reach an agreement, they are much more satisfied than when the choices have been made for them.
Maricopa County Divorce Attorneys
If you are considering divorce, speak to a family law attorney who understands the issues. At Burggraff Tash Levy PLC, we have experienced attorneys who are dedicated to helping you solve your issues and move on with your life.
We understand the difficult time you are going through, and we work to make the process as smooth and painless as possible.