This is a Guest Post from Sean Smallwood, a Divorce Lawyer in Florida.
When married couples consider starting divorce cases there are many different paths that the case can take depending on the facts involved in the case. Below are a few questions that every person considering divorce must think about and answer.
First, the parties to the divorce must figure out if they can agree to issues such as division of property, whether or not there will be any spousal support, and who will pay attorney’s fees to name only a couple. If both sides are able to agree to all issues in advance then they may be able to proceed on an uncontested basis. This option is usually the most cost effective and causes the least stress on the parties involved.
It is important for people contemplating a divorce to keep in mind that they should be very careful not to allow themselves to be taken advantage of in the case just to be able to say that the case was uncontested. Additionally, many cases that begin as uncontested will become contested as the case proceeds.
Next, if the parties have any minor age children then child custody issues will be a factor in the case. The Parties must decide what type of parenting schedule they can agree on regarding the amount of time each parent will spend with the child. There are many possible issues where disagreements can crop up when kids are involved such as parental responsibility, decision making authority, child exchange locations, transportation, and which parent’s home will be used for school designation to name only a few. Parents must also take into account that the amount of time-sharing they have with the child can directly affect child support payments.
If the parties getting divorced are not able to agree on the issues outlined above then their case will proceed on a contested basis. This means that there are issues in the case that they are not in full agreement on. Most states require all contested divorce cases to go to mediation prior to any trial on the issues. This is done in an effort to try to unclog the already crowded divorce courts.
A majority of divorce cases will settle at or shortly after mediation takes place and those who do not proceed to trial on the left over disputed issues.
This post was provided by Family Lawyer Sean Smallwood ESQ.
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