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Am I ready to be happy again?

One of the most difficult things to go through in life is a death of a marriage, or a divorce.

When you have to think about the impact it has on your children, it is very difficult to take that leap for a divorce. Yet is it best for your children to grow up in 2 households, or to grow up in a toxic environment, teaching them that we need to tolerate unhappiness?

What if you don’t have minor children, and your spouse treats you poorly?

These are questions that are very personal to every individual. The best answer an attorney can give is: what do you value more: your mental health or your marriage?

M E G A H E D, E S Q. Inc. views divorce as a new chapter to a happy life. Without being happy, then your mental health is at stake. This can lead to physical ailments. How can you be there 100% for yourself or your dependents when your constantly worrying about your marriage?

When you are a stay-at-home parent, you don’t earn money and your spouse is your sole source of income, then that is another layer. 
The divorce process can be complicated, especially if you or your spouse are in the military. If your spouse is in the military, and you begin the divorce process while he/she is deployed, then you may be receive a request to stay the divorce proceedings until he/she returns. Staying the proceedings means that no action can be taken in the case until he/she returns. This includes no temporary orders for spousal support or child support. 
Is it wise to still file while your spouse is deployed? Yes. The reason being is that the Court can award you support at or around the time the month you filed for divorce. For example, if you filed for divorce on November 13, 2019, then the earliest support order can be effective December 1, 2019. This is not automatic, and you'll need to make a formal request for the effective date.
What if you and your spouse still live under one roof at the time of filing for divorce? It is common for spouses to believe that the Court will remove the other spouse from the residence. This is a false belief. You may request for exclusive use and possession of the residence during your divorce proceedings. You may be faced with an objection, especially if there is no hint of domestic violence and the other spouse pays for the rents and or mortgage. If your spouse moves out of the residence, however, you may request that your spouse continues to pay or contribute to the mortgage and or rent if your income is insufficient to meet your monthly needs consistent with the marital standard of living. You can further request spousal support to make up for the difference. 
What if your spouse refuses to become employed? You can always request from the Court specifically for weekly job contacts and or a vocational evaluation of his/her earning ability. 
What if your kids do not want to spend time with the other spouse? These are very delicate and complex scenarios because the Court cannot force a parent-child relationship. It would be a good idea to place the child in therapy in hopes of reunifying the bond between your spouse and child. It is common to believe that the Court favors mothers over fathers in child custody and visitation proceedings. However, this belief is also false. The Court is required to maintain the "status quo" pending the finalization of the divorce proceedings. What this means is, if father is the primary one taking the children to and from school, attending to their daily activities, helping with their homework, fixing meals, scheduling healthcare appointments, brushing their teeth, reading bedtime stories and so on, then the Court will want to maintain this relationship with the father. Maintaining the routine for the children is what is in the best interest of the children. If both parents are involved in this child rearing, then the Court will likely order joint physical custody. It is actually the public policy of this state to establish joint custody. The caveat is that it does not mean that joint custody will be established immediately. The Court may require a few months of less-than-equal-time with the children, then designate a time in the future for an increased and or equal timeshare. It would be wise to complete a parenting course before attending any court hearings on child custody and visitation irrespective of whether you are the primary parent or not. 
What if there is domestic violence involving the children? The Court will not allow the abusive spouse to care for the children; and if it does, then it will likely be under the supervision of a third party or professional until further Court order. 
How long does the divorce process take? This truly depends on the cooperation of each spouse. If you and your spouse agree on custody, support, and division of assets and debts, then your matter may proceed as uncontested. In fact, only one spouse needs to file for the divorce and the other signs a global marital settlement agreement memorializing the terms of your agreement. The earliest date the Court will terminate your marital status is 6 months from the date your spouse receives the Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. 
Will you and your spouse be required to exchange information regarding incomes, assets and debts? The answer is absolutely. The Court wants to ensure that each spouse has all of the information required to make an informed decision as to support, assets and debts. This is regardless of whether you reach a mutual agreement or whether the Court makes orders in your divorce. 
What if you and your spouse were married for 10 or more years? It is common to believe that spousal support will be indefinite. This is false. The Court will reserve its authority to indefinitely award support in your final divorce Judgment, however, it is subject to further Court orders. The Court is required to review and consider several statutory factors (i.e. age, health, earning ability, assets, debts, ability to pay, standard of living, domestic violence, etc.) in order to maintain support consistent with the marital standard of living. Please note that if you committed any abuse towards your spouse, then you will unlikely prevail for an award of spousal support. This is because it is presumed that it is unjust to pay spousal support to an abusive spouse. Of course, you can rebut this presumption. However, you still may receive child support despite being the abusive spouse. 
Again, is it best you and your family to file for divorce today? If you need more information on the overall process of a divorce, then please call Your Legal Warrior today! May you give us the opportunity to move you and your family forward in your life! 

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