A divorce is something no one wants to ever go through. When a bride or groom heads down the aisle and makes their vows, the intention is usually to stay with that person forever.
Unfortunately, sometimes the marriage just doesn’t work out and the marriage may reach a point where a divorce is necessary for each member of the union to grow and move on with their lives.
A divorce lawyer is an important part of this process of going back into legal single-hood so hiring the right attorney is a decision you want to only make once. Some attorneys talk a good game and some are very knowledgeable, savvy and experienced with the law so the best way to filter the good from the bad is to essentially interview them during a consultation.
The following are six simple questions that you should ask every divorce lawyer you encounter and an idea of the answers that you should be looking for:
1. What are the requirements for a divorce?
According to the law, a marriage can be divorced if it has failed. The failure of a marriage is assumed if the participants have not formed a cohabitation for at least one year, and it is also no longer expected that the coexistence is possible to restore. However, it is not a requirement that both spouses want a divorce after one year. Instead, it is sufficient if the cohabitation has not existed for a year, and a spouse wants to divorce.
2. Can the divorce petition be filed in court without a divorce lawyer?
The divorce application itself can only be submitted to the court (local court, family affairs department) by an approved lawyer. The divorce petition is permissible, provided that the parties have been living separately from one another. Such is only possible if the parties stay independently in duration not less than one year. The court then delivers this divorce petition to the other spouse. The latter can then comment on the divorce petition. However, the divorce petition only occurs if the paying of court cost happens in advance, or the applicant receives legal aid.
Furthermore, Jason Martin, a Montgomery County divorce lawyer who’s seen his fair share of divorces accurately pointed out that not only are DIY divorces usually improperly filed (leading to delays) but amicable divorces don’t usually stay that way, unfortunately; and this is where your lawyer comes in to protect you just in case things go sour.
3. Do you have to apply for pension compensation?
If a party has submitted the divorce petition to the court through his lawyer, the court will send the two parties the forms for the pension adjustment. Such happens in the course of the proceedings. The pension adjustment is typically carried out as a so-called follow-up in the course of the official divorce by the court. As a rule, those involved do not have to submit their application. Such applies for marriages of up to three years, and here the pension adjustment takes place only if a spouse requests this.
4. What regulations are there in divorce proceedings?
In the context of an application for divorce, only the pension compensation is ex officio carried out by the court, provided that the marriage has been longer than three years. The court does not automatically regulate other procedures, such as separation maintenance, post-marital maintenance, profit sharing, custody, dealing with children together, or the stay of children, within the scope of the divorce. If the parties involved also want to find regulations here, they have to submit corresponding further court applications. There is no clarification of official channels. These additional applications in the context of maintenance, custody, or handling often lead to a considerable increase in the cost of divorce, since in terms of costs, they are separate follow-up matters, which cause increased court and lawyer costs.
5. How long does a divorce procedure take?
The question of the length of the divorce proceedings depends on several factors. In the case of a so-called amicable /uncontested divorce, the spouses already agree on all matters, so that apart from the pension adjustment, nothing else needs settling in court. The duration of the divorce proceedings is between four and fifteen months. The period of the divorce proceedings can, however, prolonged if so-called follow-up matters, such as post-marital maintenance, property law (gain), or custody applications within the scope of the divorce, are pending. In these cases, a divorce can drag on for several years, since the divorce petition only occurs when all other proceedings are also “ready for decision.” The decision is ready when the court has all the necessary facts to be able to make a decision.
6. Can the spouse who moves out of the marital home take the children? Against the will of the other spouse?
If the parents have joint custody, they can only jointly determine with whom the children will have their future stay or who will look after and care for them to a large extent in the future. The parent who moves out is therefore generally not permitted to take the children with them against the will of the other person and thus tear them out of their familiar surroundings. If the parents cannot agree where the children should live, a court decision is their only option. The courts are required to carry out a so-called large child welfare test. This child welfare test, asses on what is best for the child, contains the following principles, which the court takes a closer look at when examining it:
•Binding the child to its parents
•Child’s bond to his siblings
These criteria are considered as part of the child welfare check and weighed against each other, whereby the court tries to make a decision that is only the best for the child. Only the interests of the child and not the interests of the parents are decisive in this assessment. In this respect, the court will often conclude that tearing the children out of the former marital home will robe them of their familiar environment. Thus the familiar surroundings of the children are not conducive to child welfare and that the children then fall back into the care of the other spouse.