The popular image of divorce attorneys usually involves lawyers for couples involved in tooth-and-nail fights over everything from assets to child custody. Fortunately, many people take advantage of divorce attorney services to try to keep the process as friendly as possible. However, it takes some planning to reach an amicable divorce. Learn what a friendly divorce usually looks like.
Someone Is Suing the Other One
Yes, this doesn't sound like the friendly start you're dreaming of. However, every divorce case in America is a lawsuit at heart. Someone is petitioning the court for the dissolution of the marriage, and the other will have to respond.
The upside to working things out peaceably is that you won't have to badger your ex. Your attorney should be able to write up the papers notifying them of the divorce, and you can deliver them by hand. Obviously, you can reverse the roles.
Both Parties Still Need Divorce Attorneys
As tempting as it might be to save a buck and cut a corner here, it's wise for each of you to hire divorce attorneys. A lawyer is obligated to provide zealous counsel for their client and represent their best interests. That means your ex's attorney can't provide you with any counsel other than answering general and standard questions about divorce law. Do the smart thing and lawyer up so you can get the same treatment.
Keeping Tabs on Assets and Liabilities
While a friendly divorce might seem easier, there are still likely to be bones of contention. It's wise to gather all of the information on the marital property and financial obligations. Be overly thorough in collecting information. If you're not sure whether something is marital property under the laws of your state, itemize it and then let your lawyer figure it out. The same goes for any debts left from the marriage.
You should also make a list of what you do and don't want. It's a good idea to think about practical things first, such as having a place to live and a vehicle to drive. If there is only one residence from the marriage, whoever gets it should be prepared to give away some money or assets to achieve a degree of equity.
The parties will also have to make custody and support arrangements if there is a kid in the picture. In a friendly arrangement, this usually means joint custody with one parent getting primary physical custody.
Contact a local divorce attorney to learn more about your case.