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The Divorce Spectrum

Not all divorces are “created equally.” In fact, psychologists and legal professionals have crafted a divorce spectrum that illustrates the different types of divorces. The divorce spectrum focuses on factors that include the complexity of a particular case, the emotional state of the parties as well as the actual state of the relationship between spouses seeking to end a marriage.

The Nuclear Divorce

The Nuclear Divorce is one in which the parties seem to want to pursue a scorched earth policy. The spouses assume a take no prisoners posture when it comes to addressing issues in the case.

In reality, the Nuclear Divorce element of the spectrum is not as commonplace as many people might assume. A Nuclear case exists when the parties face a highly complex divorce case. The parties are also highly emotionally charged, in deep turmoil over the end of the marriage and their other spouse. Finally, the relationship between the parties is so degraded that it has become impossible for them to speak to one another or communicate in any constructive manner.

Divorce Decree Playbook

Most divorces fall into the middle of the divorce spectrum. These divorces are so commonplace that they appropriately can be called part of the Divorce Decree Playbook.

At this point on the spectrum, the divorcing couple face a variety of easier to resolve as well as more complex issues. Emotions are not necessarily in check all of the time, but the parties are able to communicate in some manner fairly effectively. The relationship between the parties has turned colder, but they do not disdain one another.

The Make It Work Out Divorce

At the other end of the spectrum from the Nuclear Divorce is the Make It Work Out Divorce. In this situation, the parties sometimes able to pursue an uncontested divorce. Even if the divorce proves to be not fully uncontested, any disputed issues can be negotiated and settled without tremendous drama.

The Make It Work Out Divorce proves to be more commonplace than many individuals would imagine. A Make It Work Out case exists when the parties have a fairly simple set of issues to resolve in the case. Emotions are in check, generally speaking, at this point on the divorce spectrum. Finally, the parties commence a divorce case with a decent enough relationship. In fact, oftentimes a Make It Work Out case features parties that still love one another. The marriage just was not working for one reason or another.

Keep in mind that no matter where a case commences on the divorce spectrum, circumstances can move it in another direction. A Nuclear Divorce can calm down while a Make It Work Out Divorce can degrade.

divorce communication

Five Tips to Enhance Divorce Communication Between Spouses

The breakdown in communication between spouses is a common occurrence in divorce cases. Indeed, communication between spouses likely broke down before the commencement of marital dissolution proceedings and oftentimes is a factor contributing to the breakup.

Proper communication between spouses actually makes the divorce process easier for both parties. Five tips can assist to enhance divorce communication between spouses.

Divorce Communication: Establish and Respect Boundaries

A fundamental practice to employ in divorce related communication is to establish and respect boundaries. Each spouse must make clear what he or she perceives to be appropriate, acceptable means of communication. Once established, each spouse must strive to respect these communication boundaries.

Divorce Communication: Listen Intently

Communication during a divorce enhances mightily when the spouses listen intently to what is being said to them by the other party. This cannot be merely some exercise in so-called “active listening.” Rather, it must be listening to understand and digest rather than listening merely to frame a tactical response.

Avoid Deception

Honesty truly is the best policy when it comes to communication during a divorce case. In the final analysis, parties to a divorce avoid a great deal of acrimony if they endeavor to be as forthright as possible in their communications with the other spouse.

Avoid Grand Promises

Some people in divorce make large promises that simply cannot be kept. For example, a divorcing person might promise the other spouse that he or she will obtain a certain type of employment which, in reality, is beyond that individual’s skill set. Grand promises unnecessarily heightens expectations which then leads to disappointment and more conflict in divorce proceedings.

Avoid Insults

Insults many times fly in divorce cases. Marriage dissolution proceedings do have the potential for bringing out the worst in people. One strategy that must be used to keep this (somewhat) understandable discord to a minimum is to avoid trading insults between the parties. Leave the wrangling to lawyers and the jabs to standup comedians. If a couple seem to naturally gravitate to insults and destructive commentary, they should consider severely limiting the amount of contact and communication they have with one another.

Keeping the lines of divorce communication open using these tactics will work to lessen the time spent in divorce court and to lower the fees from attorneys. Adopting these strategies advances a divorcing couple to their new lives in a much more expeditious manner.

uncontested divorce

Uncontested Divorce Overview

Divorce can be nasty business. Many divorce cases become hotly contested and highly emotional. However, there are instances in which an uncontested divorce is possible, and the spouses are able to settle the primary issues involved in ending the marriage without the need for protracted courtroom litigation. There are some essential facts a person needs to understand about an uncontested divorce.

Is an Attorney Necessary in an Uncontested Divorce?

Just because a divorce is uncontested does not automatically mean no legal representation is necessary. There are instances in which an uncontested divorce involves complicated issues. For example, the couple may jointly own a business, a situation which typically requires the assistance of a capable lawyer to address during divorce.

If a divorce truly is uncontested, attorney fees will not mount as they would in a hotly contested divorce. Legal counsel will focus on drafting important documents, including a settlement agreement to be presented to the court.

An attorney will schedule an initial consultation to discuss a divorce case. There typically is no fee charged for this type of consult.

Can Each Spouse Have the Same Attorney?

Divorcing spouses may not share an attorney. The Code of Professional Responsibility (and similar rules of conduct) in each of the 50 states regulates attorney conflict of interest. An attorney representing both parties in a divorce case would face a conflict of interest. If only one party retains a lawyer, it is important for all involved to understand that this legal counsel has an allegiance only to the spouse that hired the professional.

Does the Court Have Documents or Forms Available?

Nearly all courts in the country have standardized forms available for use in divorce cases. These typically can be obtained online or through the court clerk's office. In most cases, the court does not charge for these forms. Keep in mind that although forms can be helpful, they are designed for people without legal representation. Hiring a lawyer remains the best course for a person in a divorce case.

Will an Uncontested Case Move Faster?

Yes, an uncontested divorce typically moves through court faster than a contested one. Another consideration regarding the speed of a case is how full a divorce court's calendar is at any given juncture. Courts that are clogged with cases will slow the process down for everyone, including individuals who pursue an uncontested divorce.

There are benefits associated with an uncontested divorce. However, a party to a divorce must keep in mind that a divorce that seems uncontested on the surface can prove to be complicated and acrimonious in the end.

divorce statistics

Informative Divorce Statistics

Although divorce statistics do not necessarily impact a particular divorce case, they are informative and sometimes even instructive. There are some divorce statistics that can aid in putting a particular marriage dissolution case into perspective.

Divorce Rates by Number of Marriages

Statistically, a divorce is more likely the more often a person weds. The divorce rate among people on their first marriage in the United States is between 45 to 50 percent. The divorce rate among individuals on their second marriage is approximately 60 to 67 percent. The rate of divorce of people on their third marriage is between 70 and 73 percent. The divorce rate continues to rise for consecutive marriages after the third one.

Divorce Rates Among Couples With and Without Children

A couple with children is more likely to stay married. In fact, there is truth to the cliché that many people stay married for the sake of the children.

About 40 percent of couples with children divorce. On the other hand, 60 percent of couples without children divorce.

Divorce Rates Over Time

Many people presume the divorce rate is always on the rise. In fact, over the past 30 years, divorce rates in the United States have dropped a slight amount. From 1991 to 2010 the divorce rate in the United States dropped about 0.1 percent. The rate has continued to drop slightly since that time as well.

Divorce Rates by State

The state with the lowest divorce rate in the United States is Massachusetts. The state with the highest divorce rate is Nevada. The primary reason Nevada has the highest divorce rate in the country is because that state has fairly lax divorce laws. In other words, it is easier to divorce in Nevada than in some other U.S. states. People come to Nevada in some cases to obtain a quicker, easier divorce.

Average Age for First Divorce

The average age of men who divorce for the first time is about 30.5 years. The average age of women who divorce for the first time is 29 years.

Retain Legal Counsel

No matter the demographics associated with the parties to a particular divorce case, a person seeking to end a marriage best protects his or her rights and interests by retaining legal counsel. Typically, an attorney charges no fee for an initial consultation in a divorce case. A person should be proactive in scheduling an initial consultation.

consider filing divorce

Tips to Make a Divorce Case Easier

No matter the best intentions of spouses seeking to end a marriage, a divorce case is not only a legally buy also an emotionally challenging process. There are some strategies that a couple can employ in an effort to lower the tensions and make a divorce case at least somewhat easier to navigate.

Hire a Divorce Lawyer

The number one step to take in an effort to tamp down the emotions and conflicts associated with ending a marriage is to hire a divorce attorney. Yes, when a divorce lawyer is retained, that professional will stand his or her ground and will do what is necessary to protect the rights and interests of the client. But, in the end, it is the divorce lawyer who is doing battle (hopefully with another qualified divorce attorney). This leaves the parties to a divorce case a margin of space to stay out of the fray, at least to some degree.

Write Things Down Before and During a Divorce Case

Everything of consequence in a divorce case needs to be in writing. This includes the taking of notes about matters that may be an issue in a divorce case before such a legal action is filed with the court.

Obviously, major agreements are placed into written form. In addition, if spouses reach agreement during a divorce about when the kids will be picked up for parenting time, confirm the arrangement in writing. Email provides an excellent tool for inter-spousal communication during a divorce. It also provides a means of creating a record about a vast array of smaller, but important, agreements that occur throughout a divorce case.

Keep Third Parties Out of the Mix

Do not involve third parties – except for attorneys – in a divorce case. Do not drag friends into disputes. Do not rely on friends to communicate, unless there is a clearly designated, mutually agreeable individual who can serve in such a capacity without incident.

Practice the Art of the Time Out

When it appears emotions are about to flare, or if some sort of impasse is reached, a divorcing couple should take a breather from each other. Rome wasn’t built in a day and a divorcing couple does not have to address every issue immediately or when it is raised. Time outs works to lower emotions and gives a couple time to contemplate a situation and put it into perspective.

divorce facts

Divorce Facts

Are you thinking about divorce? There are some divorce facts to keep in mind. These divorce facts are interesting. And, they may help put your divorce case into perspective.

First Marriages

The U.S. Census Bureau tracks divorce facts. The agency reports that when a first marriage ends in divorce, it lasts an average of eight years.

Second Marriages

People in second marriages have a lower divorce rate. Experts say this is because of what was learned from the first go-around.

Children and Divorce

There are many research studies about divorce facts. Some of these studies focus on children and divorce. Studies suggest that children with divorce parents are more likely to drop out of school.

Who Moves on Faster?

Conventional wisdom is that men get over divorce quicker. Divorce facts suggest something else. According to divorce facts, a woman remarries about 3.1 years after divorce. A man takes a couple months longer. On a more serious note: men are eight times more likely to commit suicide following divorce.

Who Files?

More than two-thirds of U.S. divorce cases are filed by women.

Divorce Facts and Smoking

A research study looked at smoking and divorce. The study reports that divorce is more likely if one spouse smokes. In fact, divorce is upwards to 91 percent more likely if one spouse is a smoker.

Professions with Highest Divorce Rates

Lawyers? No. Doctors? No.

Dancers and choreographers have the highest divorce rate. They are followed by bartenders. (Probably not surprising.) Third on the list are massage therapists. (Probably not surprising.)

Professions with Lowest Divorce Rates

Quite a few make the cut.

Members of the clergy, podiatrists, nuclear engineers and sales people.

More Divorce Facts – Children and Divorce

Parents with kids are less likely to divorce, overall. The divorce rate rises if a couple has twins. It rises even more with triplets.

Divorce and Commuting

One study examined this issue. People who commute more than 45 minutes daily – more likely to divorce.

Divorce and Weight Gain

Who gains weight after divorce? Conventional wisdom says women. Divorce facts says it’s the men.

Legal Representation and Divorce

If you are contemplating a divorce … remember this crucial fact. You best protect your legal rights and interests by hiring an experienced divorce lawyer.

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