By placing this article here, we are not saying that we are the absolute 100% best divorce attorney in the state of Utah. Although some of our clients may feel that way, that is their opinion. We are sure there are some who would disagree with this statement. Accordingly, please do your own due diligence before hiring any lawyer for any purpose whatsoever.
Divorce is very common in the United States with almost half of all marriages ending in divorce or permanent separation. Commitment has been shown to be a clear factor in why some couples stay together. There are times when divorce is necessary, but those in other circumstances often later indicate they wish they would have tried harder before divorcing. There are many factors that place a couple at higher risk for divorce. It may be helpful to know some of the statistics and findings outlined below.
What Percentage Of Marriages Ends In Divorce?
Researchers estimate that 40%-50% of all first marriages will end in divorce or permanent separation and about 60% – 65% of second marriages will end in divorce. Although divorce has always been a part of American society, divorce has become more common in the last 50 years. Changes in the laws have made divorce much easier. The highest divorce rates ever recorded were in the 1970s and early 1980s. Divorce rates have decreased since that time, but still remain high.
What factors are associated with a higher risk for divorce?
Over the years, researchers have determined certain factors that put people at higher risk for divorce: marrying young, limited education and income, living together before a commitment to marriage, premarital pregnancy, no religious affiliation, coming from a divorced family, and feelings of insecurity.
• Young age: Marriage at a very young age increases the likelihood of divorce, especially in the early years of marriage.
• Less education: Research shows that those with at least some college education (vs. high school or not finishing high school) have a lower chance of divorce.
• Less income: Having a modest income can help couples avoid stress that may lead to divorce.
• Premarital cohabitation: Couples who live together before marriage appear to have a higher chance of divorce if they marry, but the risk is mostly true for those who have cohabited with multiple partners. A common belief is that living together before marriage provides an opportunity to get to know each other better, but research has found those that live together before marriage have already developed some leniency towards divorce. This leniency towards divorce is what leads the couple to become high risk. However, there are some caveats to these findings. Research suggests couples who get engaged and then move in together are no longer at a high risk for future divorce. Their commitment towards marriage reduces the risk of a future divorce.
• Premarital childbearing and pregnancy: Childbearing and pregnancy prior to marriage significantly increase the likelihood of future divorce.
• No religious affiliation: Researchers have estimated those with a religious affiliation compared to those who belong to no religious group are less likely to divorce.
• Parents’ divorce: Unfortunately, experiencing the divorce of your parents doubles your risk for divorce. And if your spouse also experienced their parents’ divorce than your risk for divorce triples. This does not mean you are predisposed to having your marriage end in divorce, only that you may need to be more aware of your marriage trends and work harder for a successful marriage.
What Are The Most Common Reasons People Give For Their Divorce?
Research has found the most common reasons people give for their divorce are lack of commitment, too much arguing, infidelity, marrying too young, unrealistic expectations, lack of equality in the relationship, lack of preparation for marriage, and abuse. Many of the common reasons people give for their divorce can fall under the umbrella of no longer being in love. Research suggests the nature of love changes over time. If you feel as if you have fallen out of love, marriage counseling may help offer a new perspective that will help you rediscover that love. Some couples are faced with very difficult situations, such as abuse, infidelity, or addictions.
Each of these situations deserves special consideration:
• When there is a pattern of abuse in a marriage or in a family, not surprisingly there is evidence that ending the marriage is usually best for all involved. While some spouses are able to end and overcome abuse, abused spouses and children are usually better off when the marriage is ended.
• Sometimes, ending a marriage with an abusive spouse can be dangerous, however. It is probably a good idea to work with a domestic violence shelter in your community to help you end the relationship safely.
• If you suspect that you (or someone you know) is in an abusive relationship, you may want to look at this webpage on Signs of Abuse.
• Most Americans say they would end their marriage if their spouse cheated on them. However, many couples (50-60%) who have dealt with infidelity in their marriages find the will and strength to stay together.
• An excellent resource to learn more about recovering from marital infidelity is the book, Getting Past the Affair: A Program to Help You Cope, Heal, and Move On—together or apart.
• Also, consider getting help from a well-trained marriage counselor and/or a dedicated religious leader, who will help you heal, decide what to do, and repair the marriage, if you decide to stay together. Recovering from infidelity can be very difficult to do without some help.
• Addiction can come in many forms, such as alcohol, drugs, gambling, or pornography.
• If you are faced with addictions or a spouse is suffering from addictions, you can find help from organizations such as Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous.
• In some cases, the addict can recover and the marriage can be repaired. In other cases, it is best for the spouse and children to separate from the addict to see if progress can be made. Each person has unique circumstances and must decide what is right for her or him. Again, consider turning to a trained professional and/or a religious leader to help you know how best to handle your situation.
How You Can Start Again After Divorce
Whether it’s rife with conflict or not, divorce is rarely easy. When you’re ending a marriage, you may struggle to move on with your life. But you can successfully work through the emotions and start a new life. “You may feel rejected, angry, profoundly hurt or out-of-control. It’s also possible that you’ll feel relieved and hopeful.” “It’s important to pay attention to your emotions and to get help when you need it.” Either way, there are typically stages of emotional upheaval people face on the road to starting over. As with any loss, you’ll go through periods of adjustment, active recovery and life reformation. Knowing what to expect (and understanding that the feelings are normal) will help you get to the other side.
How To Recover After Divorce
Let yourself feel: By letting yourself feel, you’ll actually recover better in the long run. “Your emotional experiences are valid and uniquely your own. There’s no right or wrong way to feel,” Tucker says. “People universally grieve the loss of their dreams they could’ve, would’ve, should’ve.” Take time to let these feelings out.
Talk it out: Working with a professional therapist can give you solid support, as well as practical tips to help you manage your money, housing, child care and health insurance. Professional guidance can also help you create time and space to grieve over your loss.
Embrace coping skills: Emotional regulation is a life-long skill. It helps you learn how to handle intense emotions, focusing on positive self-care and self-soothing. “People going through a divorce are in survival mode in the beginning and are often not focused on their own well-being.” “They benefit from learning how to manage their emotions in a crisis, as well as every day.”
Work together to focus on children: For divorcing parents, concentrate on what’s best for the children. Remember, you’ll be co-parents for life. Embrace that role and work to make decisions for your children by putting them first.
Watch out for stumbling blocks: Get help if you see signs that you are stuck on anger and resentment, feelings of extreme sadness or anxiety, choosing misery, suffering alone rather than reaching out, succumbing to fear and developing depression.
Avoid hanging on in desperation: You may fall into the trap of trying desperately to reconcile with your spouse, begging for forgiveness or promising anything to hold on to the relationship. “Divorce feels so final that people are willing to try again and again.”
Don’t rush into a new relationship: Many people going through a divorce jump too quickly into a new relationship. They fear being alone or never falling in love again.
Use self-help and other resources: Books, online resources (research carefully to find legitimate ones) church-based divorce-recovery programs are all good places to find additional support.
Stay hopeful: Ultimately, you’ll work your way through the challenges and move on. “You know you are moving forward when you begin to build a new life worth living.”
What Can I Do If My Spouse Won’t Sign The Divorce Papers?
Divorces, even those desired by both spouses, often get contentious. And if one spouse won’t agree to end the marriage or is trying to avoid the divorce, the process may stretch out longer than expected. Some resisting spouses can make the divorce process very difficult by refusing to sign the necessary divorce papers or by completely failing to respond to a request for a divorce. Others do so by hiding or trying to avoid “service” (meaning in-person delivery) of the divorce paperwork. How a judge will treat these situations depends on where you live: some states will allow the divorce to proceed “uncontested,” while others allow the petitioning spouse (the spouse asking for the divorce) to obtain a “default divorce.”
The easiest type of divorce is an “uncontested” divorce, which means both spouses have filed the necessary paperwork (a divorce petition and a response) and they agree to all divorce-related issues, such as alimony (spousal support), child custody and support, and the division of property and debts. Typically, if you and your spouse have reached a divorce settlement agreement on all of your issues, you can bring your agreement and any necessary divorce paperwork to court, where a judge will review it, issue orders based on that agreement, and grant you a divorce. If the agreement involves child support and custody terms, judges will check to make sure your parenting agreement and the child support amount is in the best interests of the child and meets state guidelines. If you properly served the divorce petition and your spouse filed an uncontested response, but won’t sign off on the final divorce papers, courts in some states may allow the case to proceed as though it’s uncontested. You may wait to be assigned a court appearance date. If your spouse fails to show up in court on that date, the judge may treat the case as though it’s uncontested and enter orders based on your divorce petition and the response.
Request to Enter a Default
If you have served your spouse properly, and your spouse failed to file a written response on time, some states let you file a request to enter a default divorce. State and local rules may vary, but generally, if your spouse failed to respond to your divorce petition within 30 days, you may file a request to enter a default along with a proposed judgment. It may also be allowed when a spouse can’t be located for service. The court will set a hearing date and ask that you appear. At the hearing the judge may issue a ruling based entirely on what is stated in your divorce petition (or based on what you proved to the court) and then issue your divorce orders and judgment. By failing to respond or appear, your spouse gives up the right to have any say in the divorce proceeding or court judgment. If you have filed for divorce and are dealing with an uncooperative spouse, you should speak with an experienced divorce attorney to discuss the possibility of pursuing a default case.
Hire a Divorce Lawyer
If you’re at the beginning of your divorce process, you may be considering representing yourself instead of hiring a lawyer, thinking you’ll save time and money by doing so. If your marriage was very short, if both of you are committed to ending your marriage without a legal or financial battle, if you have no children or assets, and if neither of you wants or needs to receive spousal support (alimony) from the other, then you may be able to process your own divorce using a kit or online tools. However, most people find divorce to be a complicated and confusing process, and they’re grateful to have an experienced family lawyer to help guide them through it. You’ll need to make a lot of decisions that will affect the rest of your life – at a time when emotions may overwhelm your ability to think clearly. So although not everyone needs a divorce lawyer, obtaining a good one is often in your best interests – especially if your divorce is complicated, contested, involves children, you have significant assets, or if your soon-to-be ex-spouse has hired a divorce lawyer.
You Are Unfamiliar With Matrimonial Law and/Or Family Court
In court, self-represented litigants are not given any special treatment; judges hold them to the same standards as the lawyer for the other side. Most judges are fairly patient people, but if you don’t know the law or what documents you need, or even what to do next you may be pushing the judge’s patience past the breaking point. The more annoyed a judge is, the less sympathetic he/she is likely to be. Family lawyers are experts in knowing what to say to make their case seem more reasonable than yours. Lawyers who focus on areas outside family law hire a family lawyer when they’re getting a divorce; they recognize that they’ll be out of their depth when faced with a lawyer who practices family law exclusively. So it’s extremely unlikely that you’ll be able to adequately prepare to face the court process and your spouse’s lawyer by yourself. To make matters worse, you can jeopardize your entire case by saying or doing just one thing wrong.
You Need Objective Advice At This Emotional Time
Divorce is an extremely emotional time for both spouses. You may experience feelings of sadness, betrayal, fear, depression, rage, confusion, and resignation sometimes all on the same day! This level of heightened emotions, and the fact that you cannot possibly be objective about your case, will skew your judgment. Very few people have had the time or the willingness to work through their emotions about their soon-to-be ex-spouse during the divorce process, which will hinder their ability to work productively with the other side to resolve important matters. If you’re thinking of representing yourself, you need to be aware that your emotional state may prevent you from making wise decisions about the future. As an objective third party, a family lawyer can keep a clear, level head and separate themselves from the emotional side of the case in order to work towards the best resolution for everyone involved. Throughout the divorce process, a lawyer can remind you to keep your emotions in check – or even introduce you to other professionals who can help you channel your emotions into positive strategies. A good divorce lawyer can let you know when you’re being unreasonable or are asking for something that’s more-or-less impossible.
A Divorce Lawyer Can Suggest Options You Didn’t Even Know Existed
A family lawyer can evaluate your situation and let you know the likely outcome if you take your case to court. Based on their experience with the judge and similar cases to yours, they’ll be able to offer a variety of legally-acceptable options to settle your case. If you and your spouse represent yourselves, you may agree on items that the judge will reject; when that happens, you’re causing more work and more delay for yourself, your spouse, the judge, and the court system. A lawyer will help you create a reasonable settlement proposal; if the proposal is coming from the other side, your lawyer will let you know whether to settle, make a counter-proposal, or fight it out in court.
Going through a divorce can feel like being buried alive under a mountain of paperwork to be filled out and filed with the court. Knowing which forms you’ll need for your unique situation can be challenging, and collecting all the information to complete them can be both difficult and tedious. However, producing complete paperwork is crucial: the judge will rely heavily on your documents to decide the outcome of your case. Using the wrong numbers on one form and the wrong tone or words on another could result in the judge perceiving you as careless or combative. If you omit something by mistake, the other side might accuse you of trying to hide information – which will damage your credibility and your case. A divorce lawyer knows how to fill out the paperwork properly and persuasively, increasing the chances that a judge will view your side of the argument favorably. Today, many cases are bogged down in the court system due to incomplete work presented by do-it-yourself divorces.
Best Divorce Lawyer
Whether or not we are the best is for you to decide. If you want a free consultation with a divorce lawyer in Utah, please call Ascent Law LLC for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States
Telephone: (801) 676-5506