What do celebrity couples like Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman; Madonna and Sean Penn; and Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie Presley have in common? They were all once happily married till divorce came along. But divorce is not a Hollywood phenomenon. US Census estimates fifty percent of all couples end up in divorce.
This is a real life account:
“My life crumbled before my very eyes. I did not sign up for divorce as a young bride. I believed in marriage, the vows and happily ever after.”
(Sandra A. Lawyer, 45, mother of three girls)
So what is this horrific thing “divorce” that comes with emotional stress, financial obligations and fight for child custody? Divorce, is the dissolution of marriage that could reorganize or cancel the legal duties of marriage under the rule of law of a particular country or state.
The seven most common causes for divorce include:
- Harassment, including sexual, physical or mental
- Communication issues between spouses
- Interference from parents or in-laws
- Difference in opinion about having or rearing children
- Falling out of love
- Difference in career and personal goals
With the exception of the Philippines, where divorce is not an option, all other countries have their own divorce laws. The legal process for divorce depends on the type of divorce being initiated. Common forms of divorce include:
- Contested Divorce: In a contested divorce, spouses are unable to agree on issues as child custody and division of martial assets and use lawyers to prepare the legal proceedings. This is fought is the court and the judge controls the outcome of the case.
- At-Fault Divorce: The oldest form of divorce where one spouse has to prove the other committed an incompatible act to the marriage. At-fault requires proof and can be contested in court.
- No-Fault Divorce: A divorce system in some Western jurisdictions where the mention of “irreparable damage” to marriage is enough to grant divorce. In this form the barest of claims would suffice and no proof of fault is required. Yet the courts in some jurisdictions may look at the behavior of both parties to decide the division of property, debts and child custody.
- Uncontested Divorce: This is the most common form of divorce where both parties come to a fair and equitable treatment about division of martial assets, child custody and support issues. When these matters are amicably decided, the courts are almost guaranteed to grant divorce.
- Collaborative Divorce: In this form of divorce, both parties negotiate through attorneys that are trained in collaborative divorce and use the assistance of neutral finance specialist or divorce coach.
Wondering if your marriage is on the rocks? Here are some signs:
- Your marriage is a one-man/ one-woman show
- You often dream about life without your spouse
- You are no longer a team
- You disagree about whether or not to have kids
- You have not dated or had sex in ten to twelve weeks
- You are keeping things to yourself
- Your love is replaced by resentment
Every relationship is different and the above list may not fully apply to you. But if you realize that divorce is inevitable, proper preparation will help you through this painful process. This begins by knowing your legal options and hiring a qualified attorney.