Though it may not seem so right away, marriage can be a fragile entity. When people first get married, things usually feel very solid. Little issues are frequently resolved pretty quickly and easily. But over time, the foundation of a marriage can start to crack, and this can happen for a variety of reasons.
Abuse and adultery are obviously major problems, but even if there is not one main cause, sometimes people just grow apart and it is really nobody’s fault. When a marriage is failing and can’t be fixed, though it can be difficult, action has to be taken. Especially if children are involved, at least one parent has to start thinking seriously about divorce and custody.
What you should know about divorce and custody
If you have gotten to the stage where divorce and custody are inevitable, the first step is separation. For a divorce to take place, a couple has to be physically separated for at least one year. And this means that they cannot live in the same home. As soon as you and your spouse begin living apart from one another, you are considered separated.
A separation does not require any sort of legal document or court order, but it is usually a wise decision to go with a separation agreement. Because divorce and custody are typically intertwined, a separation agreement is used to cover issues related to child custody as well as support. A lawyer can help you set up this agreement and advise you on what language should be included.
When a year has passed, a divorce complaint can then be filed with the clerk in your local county. The divorce complaint will then be served to your spouse. As long as the divorce is uncontested, all you will have to do is wait until it is granted.
The next step in the divorce and custody process is figuring out what is best for the children.
There are two different types of custody:
- Physical – Physical custody determines where the children will live and how they will be taken care of. The parent with physical custody is responsible for basic essentials, including shelter, food, clothing, etc.
- Legal – The person with legal custody makes the decisions for the children. These could include healthcare, schooling, religion, and other big decisions.
During the divorce and custody procedure, sometimes spouses are completely on the same page and can easily come to agreements on everything. However, that is not always the case, and things can turn ugly quickly. This is why before you get immersed in a divorce and custody battle, you should talk to an attorney. You have rights you may not be aware of, and it is important you know what they are.
For the legal support you and your children need, get in touch with Emblem Legal. Our lawyers will give you the right guidance and knowledge and help you through this trying time.