State Divorce Laws can be Difficult and Confusing
The end of a marriage can be a very emotional and stressful time. There are so many things happening all at once, and the adjustment to life after marriage is not easy. You can make the divorce process easier on yourself and everyone involved by becoming familiar with the state divorce laws that apply to you.
Divorce is an issue that is handled by the states rather than the federal government. When you decide to dissolve a marriage, you are governed by state divorce laws that dictate how you should proceed with the divorce, how the property must be divided, and what type of spousal or child support is appropriate.
Even the type of divorce that you can pursue is governed by state divorce laws. Most states allow you to file no-fault divorces, in which the petitioning spouse is not required to prove that the other spouse did anything that resulted in the divorce. At least one state, New York, still requires that fault is shown before a divorce can be granted.
Your situation may be confusing if you married in one state but moved to another, or if you are separated and your spouse lives in a different state. Which state divorce laws do you follow? Can you choose which state divorce laws should apply to your situation?
Seek Professional Help
The best way to handle these concerns and to navigate the choppy waters of divorce is to hire a divorce lawyer who is knowledgeable of state divorce laws. A divorce lawyer who is experienced and good at his or her job will have no problems at all identifying your needs and helping you to find the best solution for your divorce.
Hiring a divorce lawyer is almost always your best course of action because state divorce laws can be extremely tricky. Especially if you have a lot of property to divide, assets to split, or child custody issues to settle, you may find yourself completely overwhelmed by the intricacies of state divorce laws.
If you can't afford a divorce lawyer or you just strongly prefer to handle the process yourself, you should do everything you can to familiarize yourself with applicable state divorce laws. You can read up online, go to your local library, or ask for advice from people who have been in your shoes. Better yet, you can pay a lawyer for his or her time just as a consultant without hiring them to take on your case. This allows you access to their expertise without paying their high rates for many hours.
Although there is no way to make divorce easy or fun, by preparing yourself and knowing how to navigate state divorce laws you can ease the burden just a little and make the process easier on everyone involved.