Questions a Divorce Lawyer Will Ask

By Marie Murdock

The events leading up to a divorce may be traumatic as both you and your husband reconcile yourselves to your marriage's ending. Things may have been said or done in heated exchanges of which neither of you is proud. You may hesitate to begin divorce proceedings for fear of what will be revealed about your relationship. While specific questions cannot be anticipated prior to a divorce proceeding, there are a few standard questions that every divorce attorney will likely ask in your initial consultation.

The events leading up to a divorce may be traumatic as both you and your husband reconcile yourselves to your marriage's ending. Things may have been said or done in heated exchanges of which neither of you is proud. You may hesitate to begin divorce proceedings for fear of what will be revealed about your relationship. While specific questions cannot be anticipated prior to a divorce proceeding, there are a few standard questions that every divorce attorney will likely ask in your initial consultation.

Residency

“What is your state of residence?” will likely be one of the first questions asked. The plaintiff must be a resident of the state where the divorce proceedings are filed. The defendant’s residency does not usually affect the state’s jurisdiction over the divorce action, but it may affect issues such as child custody and visitation. States have varying requirements for someone to establish residency, with most requiring that the person live in the state for a specified period of time and acquire a permanent address.

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Grounds

“Why are you divorcing the defendant?” will be another important question as many state courts require grounds or reasons for a divorce. Unless the state is strictly a no-fault divorce state, one or more pre-established reasons must be stated for filing for divorce. Fault-based grounds in many states include physical abuse, abandonment, adultery and drug abuse. Most states also recognize less accusatory grounds such as irretrievable breakdown of the marriage or irreconcilable differences.

Separation

“How long have you been separated?” Some states require a statutory period of separation in which the parties may not live together prior to beginning divorce proceedings. If that period is broken by any period of cohabitation in which it can be established that the parties shared marital relations, then the time period for separation may restart. Waiting periods may range from 6 months to 1 year in many states, and may be conditioned upon whether there are children born of the marriage.

Children

“Do the two of you have minor children?” Whether there are children under the age of adulthood is a very important question as issues such as custody, visitation, child support and relations with parties of the opposite sex may become hotly debated. These issues are often emotional and complex and can extend the length of the proceedings.

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Are Reasons for a Divorce Taken Into Account in a Custody Hearing in Michigan?

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Why File for a Fault Based Divorce?

When a court finds that one spouse is at fault for a divorce, it may bring personal satisfaction or vindication for the other spouse; it may also have an impact on the divorce decree in terms of alimony, property division and custody. On the other hand, divorces based on fault may be more time consuming and costly for the couple. The availability and usefulness of filing for a fault-based divorce is highly dependent on the laws of the state where you live.

Divorce Process for Battered Women in Louisiana

Louisiana does not recognize abuse as a grounds for divorce. However, a woman facing physical abuse in her marriage can obtain a protective order while her divorce case is pending in Louisiana. Under typical circumstances, divorce can be a lengthy process with hearing dates set months apart. When a woman is in an abusive relationship, the courts will attempt to expedite the process and help the family work out matters like property division and child custody. Battered women may also have access to other resources in the form of protective shelters, counseling or medical services.

The Code of West Virginia Regarding the Grounds for Divorce

West Virginia offers both fault and no-fault grounds for divorce. If the parties agree on the divorce, or one spouse can prove abuse or adultery, the marriage can usually be dissolved without delay. Other grounds, such as separation and desertion, require the parties to complete a waiting period defined by law. Regardless of the grounds for divorce, the existence of marital misconduct may be considered by the court as part of spousal support and custody proceedings in West Virginia.

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