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Divorce is not always easy because there are so many legalities involved in the process. Child custody, property settlements and parental responsibilities are some of the legal issues that come into the picture when getting a divorce. It can be mentally and emotionally taxing and the last thing you want to do is struggle with the process. A divorce lawyer comes in handy during this trying phase of your life. The divorce attorney represents and guides you through the process, making it easier for you to handle. But to enjoy a smooth process, you must find yourself a reliable attorney.

1. Talk to friends and relatives

2. Know what your needs are

3. Do your research

4. Create a budget

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There are three ways to end a marriage.

1. Nullity or Annulment
2. Legal Separation, or
3. Divorce

A. Nullity takes the position the marriage never took place. There are certain conditions which a party may use to end the marriage.

Among them are:

Incestuous marriage (marrying a relative)
Bigamous marriage (one party already married to another)
Age at time of marriage (less than 16)
Unsound mind (mental illness or disease)
Fraud in the inducement (Promise made before marriage which was not kept as soon as marriage occurred. Like promising to have children or practice a certain religion.)
Force (kidnapping a spouse and taking away the ability to enter into marriage contract voluntarily) Physical incapacity ( medical condition which does not allow one party to enter into a marriage. For example coma or no known way to communicate.


A divorce ends any legal connection between spouses. Neither can claim any interest in property accumulated after the judgment becomes final. Either party is free to remarry. They can no longer be covered on the health insurance of the other or file joint tax returns.

The Marital Settlement Agreement in a divorce is similar to the one created in a Legal Separation. It covers all of the issues which need to be resolved for each specific case. So long as there is no fraud or lying about assets or debts accumulated during the marriage the judgment will be valid and enforceable.

So long as each party can get affordable health insurance on their own there are few reasons to put off a full divorce.

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During the past several years, the collaborative divorce process has gained national attention as more efficient, collegial, and cost effective way to obtain a divorce. Unfortunately, as a divorce lawyer, my experience has been that people are still slow to embrace a process that is likely to predominate the family law arena in the very near future.

Why do I believe this? Here are five important reasons why I believe that more and more divorcing couples will begin to opt for a collaborative divorce as an alternative to traditional litigation.

1. Cost - A collaborative divorce is by far less expensive than traditional litigation. In a typical divorce case, a lawyer will collect an initial retainer which will vary based on your geographic area and the experience of the attorney you are hiring. Most lawyers will at least attempt to settle your case without filing a lawsuit - with varying degrees of success. If and when your case gets to court, the legal fees will skyrocket. It is not unheard of for legal fees in a divorce case with substantial assets and alimony at stake to reach $100,000 or more.

Alternatively, a collaborative case is much more collegial than traditional litigation, and therefore will cost less. You, your spouse, and your attorneys will take part in a series of four-way conferences. There is no formal discovery, as both parties agree to full disclosure at the outset of the case. There is no risk of a lawsuit being filed, as both parties and their attorneys agree, ahead of time, not to file a lawsuit.

5. Less Stress and Anxiety - By the very nature of the collaborative divorce process, you will be less stressed and anxious both during and after the case is resolved. You will like, rather than hate, your attorney and your spouse. You will not have spent half your life savings on legal fees. You can finish your divorce in a summer rather than during the 3 years your kids are in middle school. Most importantly, you have a say in the process. For all of these reasons, if you need to or are thinking about getting a divorce, I strongly encourage you to consider a collaborative divorce.

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