When a couple is able to come to an agreement regarding important affairs, their case can be processed as “uncontested”. However, if there is not full agreement, the case is considered “contested” and the disputed issues must be decided by a third party. Many states, such as Arizona, require contested divorce cases to go through mediation before trial in an attempt to come to terms outside of the courtroom. Even if you begin proceedings with an uncontested case, it is still possible to come up against issues later on.
Step 1: Ending the Marriage
While many couples begin divorce proceedings with the same intent to end their marriage, some find themselves at odds over this pivotal point. Skilled family law attorneys can help in situations when only one spouse wants to end the marriage, but it will be more cost-effective and straight-forward if both partners can become resigned to the resolve of one before beginning legal proceedings.
Step 2: Financial Agreement
The law perceives a married couple as one unit, and when that unit splits, so do their assets. If possible, both parties should determine on their own the outcome of financial aspects such as fair division of property, if either will pay spousal support, who is responsible for attorney fees, and other issues related to money. Far more cost effective than fighting over possessions through attorneys, this option is also less stressful and can make it more possible to proceed with an uncontested case. Be careful, however, not to let yourself be taken advantage of by giving up more than is your fair share.
Step 3: Custody Issues
When minors are involved, physical custody becomes a factor in each divorce case. Again, try to come to an agreement on a parenting schedule, deciding together how much time each parent will spend with the child and when. Decision making authority can also cause disagreements between separated parents, and potential issues regarding other parental responsibilities should be discussed and resolved as early as possible. Along with these decisions, child support will be factored in according to each parent’s income and time spent with the child.
The more thorough and rational you and your partner are able to be during this challenging time, the smoother you can make an already difficult experience. Despite the complications, the majority of divorce cases can be settled soon after any necessary mediation, allowing both you and your former spouse to move on with your own lives. Contact the skilled family law attorneys of Simon Law Group in Arizona to determine your best course of action as you consider divorce.