Preparing for Divorce
Trying to come to a decision about whether you should pursue a divorce often is one of the hardest moments in anyone’s life. Even in situations where one spouse is abusive to the other, it is still very hard. Even when someone knows that obtaining a divorce is the right choice, the fact that it is the death of a dream makes it difficult. There are so many factors to consider in reaching that decision.
At Foley & MacAdie, we understand how complicated and often painful the process is. It is our goal to connect with our clients with compassion and legal analysis to assist them in looking at all of the important factors that go into making the decision. We know that it is a very personal decision and encourage everyone to take their time in making it. We are focused in offering all clients every option available to meet their goals and respect the decisions each make. Our mission is to give each of our clients all of the information they need in order to make informed decisions along the way.
Divorce Related Issues
The following topics cover many of the aspects of going through the divorce process, once the decision is made to move forward.
A Separation Agreement is a contract that is carefully drafted by the attorneys representing the parties to clearly and unequivocally state the provisions of the agreements made by the two parties. The word “Separation” is a bit misleading, as it really is the divorce agreement. It will be presented to the Court, together with other pleadings, as the document completely embodying the terms of the divorce. Depending on how the terms of the agreement are written, the agreement will be either totally or partially binding and will be either totally or partially modifiable. The Separation Agreement must set forth in detailed language, the agreement reached on many topics, including but not limited to support division of assets, taxes, health insurance, parenting plan, and the assignment of liabilities.
We believe it is very important for reasonable parties to work towards a settlement and will encourage everyone to do so. Everyone must think about the fact that an agreement reached by the parties may well be much more satisfactory than one decided by the Judge. Parties with children must always remember that they are “parents forever” (quoting an exceptional retired Judge). So we encourage all clients to make decisions with that in mind, unless one party is being unreasonable or engages in bullying. There is absolutely no need to be angry or abusive to the other parent and we will never tolerate it or fail to address it.
If a written agreement is not reached, the matter must be decided by trial, which entails enormous costs, both emotional and financial. Trials cost tens of thousands of dollars, as there is so much work to be prepared for trial, to try the case and then the drafting of post-trial documents for the Court. The parties also usually testify and unfortunately, either testify in ways that cause further damage to the relationship and/or are extremely stressful. If a trial can be avoided, it should be, especially if there are children.
That being said, no person should be bullied into accepting the terms proposed by a controlling or abusive spouse. During the proceedings, the parties will be before the Court, such as at a Pretrial Conference, when the Judge gives guidance as to how the unresolved issues, in general, should be addressed. The Judge cannot give specific advice, as that would result in prejudging the case. But most judges are very helpful in speaking to the parties and to their counsel to help the parties reach agreement and avoid trial.
a difficult divorce?