Divorce can be an emotionally challenging and physically draining process that can take its toll on you. Still, it is a process that can help you dissolve an unhappy marriage. However, often, people deem the divorce process as a retribution mission where they can exact revenge on their spouse. But by perceiving divorce in this way, you could end up exhausting a substantial amount of your hard-earned savings, along with precious time. Hence, apart from providing you with a free legal database, we have also compiled below, some lesser-known secrets and divorce tactics to win.
How to win a divorce?
There are several issues on which a divorcing couple can have disagreements. These issues are exactly what the judge provides a decision on during a divorce proceeding. Primarily, there are five areas of contention between a divorcing couple, that are to be negotiated. These are-
- Child custody,
- Child support,
- Division of assets,
- Division of debts, and
Divorce settlements are done in accordance with family law. You can get an understanding of all the topics covered in family law here. Lawyers or divorce attorneys help their clients navigate the complex and arduous process of divorce. But often the ordeal is amplified because of misconceptions and lack of proper information and awareness about the process.
Hence, in order to make the divorce process less time-exhaustive, as well as less financially and emotionally taxing, it is crucial to understand how to win a divorce settlement. Below are some secrets only divorce attorneys know.
1. Don’t leave your house
Usually, it can take at least 6 months for you to obtain the final decision from the court. But as you wait for the decision, you should not leave your house. Even though the vibe inside the house may get tense and a bit chaotic, as long as there is no violence, and your physical safety is not jeopardized, you should not move out from your house, until you get the decision on divorce. The reasons why moving out could be the wrong choice is because:
- You would be incurring additional living expenses, by renting an apartment or home. This can be financially straining as divorce has its own expenses.
- Many prolonged divorce processes usually involve one spouse paying some kind of support or alimony to the other spouse. If you are the one earning more, you probably won’t be able to ditch the responsibility of spousal support. And even if you are the one earning less money, it is not necessarily the case that your spouse would be instructed to pay for your new home. Thus, any which way, it is not a prudent choice to move out of the house before the divorce is finalized.
- If you move out before the judge has issued a temporary final decision on who stays where, and who pays for what, then it could get tricky for you if you have children. Usually, every parent desires equal time with their children, but if you move out, you won’t get an equal share of your children’s time. In that case, the court may hand over the primary custody of the children to your spouse. It is because the judge can take into consideration your schedule after moving out, as the schedule you prefer. By moving out, you may end up setting a custody precedent that can turn out very hard to get overturned. Learn more about custody precedents here.
2. Trial is not often the endgame
One of the biggest misconceptions that people have about divorce proceedings is that they think they would eventually be going to trial against their spouse. But you should know that a good 90% of the divorce cases, and going by some reports, even 95 to 97% of divorce cases are actually being settled out of court. It means that you should choose a lawyer or divorce attorney who is well-versed with negotiation tactics, so that he/she can lead you towards winning your divorce case, outside of court.
3. Don’t seek out an aggressive lawyer
Contrary to common perception, getting an aggressive attorney could harm you in many ways.
- Instead of getting a lawyer who “never backs down”, it is more beneficial to get someone who would allow you to come to a quick agreement with your spouse on all major issues. This will save you a lot of time and money.
- Given how the majority of divorce cases do not proceed to a trial, an aggressive attorney can botch your chances of reaching a quick settlement with your spouse. Aggressive tactics may work in courtrooms, but they are often counter-productive during a 1-on-1 negotiation. An aggressive attorney may prolong the proceedings, extending billable hours and thereby, wasting your hard-earned money.
- Moreover, an aggressive attorney can also lead you to a cost-exhaustive trial that you do not require or could have managed without.
4. Don’t let your emotions get the better of you and your pocket
You shouldn’t be asking your attorney to send a note to your ex-spouse about why you should get to keep the dairy worth $80 when you know it can cost you a good $500 in legal fees. Hence, it is imperative for you to keep your emotions in check during the entire divorce process.
5. Settlement agreement is an intelligent choice
People who come to the divorce negotiation table often come with a preconceived notion about “defeating” their spouse. But that is not always a beneficial tactic. Winning your divorce case does not require you to necessarily beat your spouse or make them lose.
Getting to an agreement involves negotiation, and the hallmark of any smartly done negotiation is that all parties walk away from the negotiation, satisfied. Any contentious divorce that has multitudes of issues, can create a very ugly scenario for both you and your ex-spouse. And if you have children and common friends, then they may get caught up in this ugliness for the foreseeable future. Hence, it is beneficial for all parties involved, in the long run, for you to come to an agreement on your divorce settlement, instead of prolonging the difficult process.
Depending upon where you live in the US, it can get more difficult or less difficult for you to get a divorce. According to reputed sources, the states of Nebraska, New York, California, Arkansas, South Carolina, Rhode Island, and Vermont have a more time-consuming and expensive divorce process. Not only do these states charge high filing fees, but they also have a prolonged waiting period to complete the divorce process.
California is especially a difficult state for getting a divorce. The filing fee is a hefty $395, while the waiting period for processing of divorce is 360 days. Moreover, there is a six-month mandated period known as “Cooling off”, which you have to let expire, between the time you filed the divorce papers to the time the judge signs on your divorce petition. But Arkansas is even more difficult a state for getting a divorce, as it has an unbelievable 18-month long processing period, which is by far the longest of any state in the country.
Hence, instead of allowing this already complicated process to get more complex, you must adopt a rational and logical approach and try to come to an agreement with your ex-spouse, so that both of you can move forward with your lives.
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