Marriage is a huge commitment. You’ll probably hear that from just about everyone when you get engaged — from your parents, friends, religious advisors, mentors, and peers. Even though you may shrug it off — you already know that, after all! — it can take a more serious turn when you’re facing divorce. If you look at the four most common types of stress in the United States, relationships come in number four. There’s one divorce every 36 seconds or so. If you look at it from a larger scale, that adds up to almost 2,400 divorces every day, almost 17,000 divorces a week, and over 875,000 divorces a year. The odds can seem crushing. Why even bother getting married at all? However, if you have gotten married and are now staring down the barrel of a divorce, you’re probably going to need a divorce attorney, even if the proceedings are fairly amicable. It’s always good to have some legal counsel on your side to help you work through the jargon and procedures carefully.
What are the Stats?
The average age of couples who are getting a divorce for the first time falls around age 30. It’s been proven that couples who marry before the age of 20 are more likely to get divorced that couples who get married at an older age. People who marry after the age of 25 are more likely to stay together. It make sense after all — your early twenties are a time of major change and growth. You may find yourself growing apart or growing in different directions that aren’t compatible with what your younger selves signed up for. By the mid-twenties, early thirties, you’re at least a little more set in your careers, who you are as a person, and what you want out of life.
Every year, almost 2 million children experience their parents divorcing. The average time a couple is married before they seek divorce is around nine years — a sobering thought. In that time, they’ve most likely had children and started a whole life together, which can make the proceedings even more difficult. The most common reasons that couples seek a divorce are: problem or lack of communication between the partners, cheating, financial issues, abuse, or the spark simply dies.
When Should I Start Thinking About a Divorce Attorney?
The divorce process can get exponentially more messy if one party to the divorce is angry, abusive, or unwilling to agree to the divorce. Children add another layer of complication and custody battles can be long, drawn out issues. Child custody lawyers may even need to get involved sometimes. If any of those terms apply to you, you may definitely want to start looking for a divorce attorney ASAP. Your divorce attorney can help you through divorce papers, negotiate agreements with your partner and his/her attorneys, and help solve financial arguments, like who gets what. They’ll advocate for you in court and also provide a measure of mediation between parties.
You will definitely need legal counsel if there is a large amount of money or property at stake, you fear violence for yourself or your children by seeking a divorce, or if the divorce is at all contested. (A contested divorce means that one party to the divorce isn’t willing to go through with the divorce or doesn’t agree with the initial terms of the divorce.) If your partner has already hired a divorce attorney, you may want to consider also hiring one, as a measure of protecting your interests. Your divorce attorney can truly become your anchor in the midst of turbulent divorce processes and can help you feel more confident and secure in your rights in court.
Your divorce attorney should be well connected and familiar with the court systems and divorce law. Get recommendations from friends or family — you can even call your local bar association for a recommendation if necessary. Protect your interests and that of your children’s by going into the proceedings well informed and well represented. It will certainly make a difference in the long run!