Divorce is a complicated process that can take a significant amount of time and cause a high amount of stress. There are various issues that divorcing parties must resolve either through negotiation and mediation or, if alternative dispute resolution fails, then in a courtroom through litigation. The effects of divorce can be long-lasting, so it is important to be educated on the different aspects of the divorce process.
It is essential to understand that you do not have to struggle through the process on your own. A Chevy Chase divorce lawyer can serve as your legal advocate in a divorce. A skilled attorney has the skills and resources necessary to answer all of your questions as well as advise you of your legal rights and options.
Understanding the Divorce Process
Filing for divorce is merely the beginning of a potentially lengthy legal process in terminating a marriage. Throughout the divorce process, there are several steps that the parties will take, including the following:
- Filing the petition for an absolute or limited divorce
- Preparing additional documents, including a detailed financial statement
- Serving the other party, or defendant
- Attending various court hearings including, scheduling conferences, pre-trial hearings, and the merits trial.
- Determine whether any property is marital or non-marital and the valuation thereof.
- Attending a hearing at which parties can present evidence and witnesses
At the completion of the process, the parties will obtain a judgment of divorce. A Chevy Chase attorney can guide a person through the legal process of divorce and serve as a dedicated advocate on their behalf.
Important Factors to Consider in a Divorce Case
When a couple divorces, they must determine how to divide their assets and determine an appropriate custodial/visitation arrangement. Division of property, spousal support, child custody, and child support are all factors that will be determined during divorce proceedings.
Couples often own property jointly, but they may also own property that belongs to them alone. Courts must determine whether property is marital or non-marital and then work out ways to divide the property between the two parties equitably. Equitable distribution can be a challenge because assets can include the family’s home, cars, or other items that both parties use.
One spouse might earn significant income while another might rely on their partner for financial support. In these instances, courts may order the high-earning individual to pay support for a set amount of time or indefinitely. When courts order support payments, they examine many factors, such as the length of the marriage, the ability of parties to support themselves, the health of the parties, and the contributions to the marriage.
Custody decisions are complicated and involve a detailed analysis of family dynamics. Courts will make their ultimate ruling based on the best interests of the children. The parents’ relationship to the children, the ability to support the children, the children’s preferences, and a parent’s ability to provide continuity of family relationships for the child are just some of the factors involved in a court’s determination of child custody.
Child Support Payments
Courts will likely order one parent to pay the other child support to help provide for the needs of their children. Judges will evaluate the parties’ incomes and other factors when calculating a party’s monthly child support obligation.
At the end of a divorce, detailed legal documents will contain all of the court’s decisions or the parties’ agreements regarding property division, alimony, child custody, and child support. An attorney in Chevy Chase can help a person negotiate for terms that protect the best interests of an individual and their children in a divorce.
Get In Touch With a Chevy Chase Divorce Attorney Today
If you are going through a divorce, you deserve to have a dedicated legal advocate by your side. The outcome of the process will impact various essential aspects of your life, including your finances and your relationship with your children.
An experienced Chevy Chase divorce lawyer can ensure that you do not have to face this major life event alone. To learn more about how a legal professional can work with you to achieve the best possible outcome in your divorce, call today.