Legal Matters of Divorce and Child Custody

The institution of marriage is one of the world’s oldest, based on the basic but universal need to create a solid household of two parents and their children. The traditional model calls for a man and woman who will then reproduce, and today, more varieties of exist, with same-sex marriage becoming legal in many parts of the world, such as the United States. Same-sex households are known for adopting children and creating foster households. Either way, a marriage may also be brought to a legal end, and divorce lawyers may be called upon to defend either spouse’s interests during this proceeding. There are a number of reasons why a person may file for divorce, and family lawyers may also become involved. Meanwhile, military divorce lawyers may be called upon when one of the spouses is in the armed forces, in particular. What is there to know about divorce and the need for lawyers such as family lawyers?

Why Divorce Happens

It is estimated that in the United States today, around 50% of all marriages end in divorce. What is more, subsequent marriages faced higher risk of divorce than any person’s first marriage, as second marriages or third ones are more likely to end in divorce. Studies have been done to determine why married Americans choose to get a divorce, and some trends have emerged. The primary reason for divorce is simply infidelity, when one spouse is exposed as being unfaithful to the other. Both men and women “cheat” like this, and at roughly similar frequencies, though their reasons for doing this may differ. Other common reasons may include substantial differences in personality, lifestyle, or spending habits, and financial strain and differences may quickly drive two spouses apart. Simple incompatibility sounds mundane, but it can certainly ruin a marriage. It has been found that two people who dated for three or more years before their engagement are less likely to divorce than two spouses who got engaged more hastily.

More serious causes for divorce may occur, and unfortunately, children may be caught in the crossfire. One of the spouses may abuse drugs or alcohol, and this may make them frightening or even dangerous to be around, especially for children in the household. One of the spouses may be verbally, emotionally, or even physically or sexually abusive toward other members of the household (whether or not drugs or alcohol are involved), and this may certainly cause a divorce. In fact, abusive behavior often results in the other spouse relocating to a private residence for their own safety and peace of mind, and they may bring any under-18 children that they have with them. This may include hiring a family lawyer to settle matters.

Lawyer Involvement

When a spouse chooses to file for divorce, they may turn to a local divorce law firm and find and hire a lawyer to represent their interests. In many cases, the client may act through their lawyer and not even meet their other spouse in person, especially if the client had to relocate to a private residence for some reason. Once this process begins, the other spouse may look for and hire their own divorce lawyer to represent their side of affairs, and both clients may act through their lawyers. These lawyers will attempt to win over assets and money, or other conditions, for their respective clients’ cases. This ranges from automobiles to cars to privately owned businesses, and certainly bank accounts and money. And if children under the age of 18 are involved, then one or both spouses may hire family lawyers to settle the matter of child custody.

Today in the United States, around 50% of all children end up being affected by their parents divorcing, and these children tend to live with their mothers afterwards (75% of them). As of 2016, for example, an estimated 13.4 million custodial single parents lived in the United States. And during this process, children aged 12 and over may be allowed to speak with the divorce court’s judge privately about their post-divorce living situation preferences. If a spouse is abusing drugs or alcohol, or is physically abusive or does not have a stable income, then the child will likely want to live with the other parent.

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