In the United States, more than half of all marriages end in divorce. If we analyze the divorce rates in America, then the numbers can be shocking. It can be complicated to determine why such a high percentage of marriages end in a divorce.

Marriages End in DivorceBut there may be a glimmer of hope on the horizon: According to US Census data, about 14.9% of marriages ended in divorce. This percentage was the lowest in the past 50 years of Census Bureau research.

The year 2019 recorded the lowest divorce rate in America since 1970, when only 15 marriages out of every 1,000 ended in divorce. If you and your spouse are facing problems in your marriage, then you should consider contacting a Philadelphia divorce attorney for guidance on how to protect your interests in the event that the relationship deteriorates further.

Some onlookers may surmise that married individuals in America have developed closer relationships with their spouses during the COVID times, perhaps because of extended physical proximity. When each individual in a married couple recognizes the other partner’s worth, it can lead to more fulfilling marriages.

How to Get A Divorce

Divorce can be quite a complicated process, and it can consume years of your life. Therefore, married couples who encounter irreconcilable differences should know what steps they would need to follow in order to get a divorce. A separation is when couples decide to end their marriage and consider taking steps toward filing for a divorce. In some cases, there can be mutual consent between the parties who want to get separated. Otherwise, there is often an option to file a lawsuit for divorce.  

A divorce is a permanent dissolution of a marriage, whereas couples remain legally married during a separation. Separation often is the first step before the point at which one of the partners formally asks for a formal divorce. 

When married couples decide that divorce is the only option that remains, then the legal process can begin. Couples should check with a legal professional to determine whether they need to remain separated before they may file for a divorce. They can confirm with the local court before they begin any of the documentation. 

It can be important to note that filing for divorce requires that the parties follow specific steps. One of the partners needs to file a divorce petition in court to initiate the process of divorce. The divorce petition must comprise of all the following information:

  • Information about both of the partners, including names, addresses, and Social Security Number.
  • Information about children, if any
  • The legal basis for filing for divorce
  • Any of the problems that the spouses may have encountered, such as child custody, alimony, or division of assets

After filing your petition for divorce, you need to pay the fees required to continue the process. In addition to this, you might also be required to complete other important paperwork, as well. People who are not able to pay the expenses associated with filing for divorce may request a fee waiver from the court. It is generally up to the judge to grant or deny your request for a fee waiver.

Steps for Filing for Divorce

Short-term marriages may take less time to dissolve. This is because these kinds of marriages usually do not involve any children or significant joint assets. However, long-term marriages may involve various factors such as:

  • Marital debt
  • Children
  • Property division

Filing a divorce petition is the first step toward initiating the divorce process. The spouse who is filing a divorce must provide the essential information. 

The next step involves asking the court for temporary orders. Divorce can take a long time, sometimes requiring time-consuming negotiations and a great deal of stress. 

After this, a spouse needs to serve the other spouse and wait for the response. The spouse who is filing a divorce must also have proof of service. This is a document that specifies whether you are meeting the state’s requirements for informing the other party that you have initiated divorce proceedings. After the other spouse has been served, they will have a specified amount of time in which they need to reply or answer. 

The next step is the negotiation process. In this phase of divorce proceedings, both spouses have to achieve substantial agreement with each other on all contested matters involving their relationship. Matters may involve spousal support, alimony, child custody, or division of assets. A Philadelphia family lawyer can help you with the negotiation process. Mediation may also be used to discuss the contentious issues and arrive at an agreement.

In the event that the partners do not agree with each other, then the divorce trial may occur. The spouses go to court, and this process can be a bit hectic. It is suggested that trials be avoided to the extent possible, with mediation largely preferred.

The final step is when the judge comes to a conclusion and orders the divorce judgment. This divorce decree legally ends the marriage and also specifies the responsibilities that each partner must handle. The responsibilities generally depend on the order and then the custody issues are resolved. 

Both partners have to follow the order and stipulations as set forth within the judgment. The parenting time and assets, spousal support, and other important issues will be resolved in the final order.