One of the oldest and most universal institutions in the world is marriage, which is traditionally designed to unite a man and woman into a single household that can bear and raise children. In some parts of the world today, same-sex marriage is also legal and recognized, and same-sex households often adopt children. Meanwhile, divorce, or the legal end of a marriage, is also common in some parts of the world such as the United States. Many studies are conducted to track how often married Americans get divorced and why, and these divorcing Americans often make use of divorce attorneys, child custody lawyers, and more during the proceedings. In other cases, though, the two divorcing spouses might not want to need lawyers, and instead make use of mediators. Why might these people need either attorneys or mediators to settle the end of their marriage? And why do Americans get divorced?
The Reasons to End a Marriage
Many marriage counseling services are in operation today to help two unhappy spouses fix their relationship and their marriage, and this is often effective. In other cases, however, two married people are certain that their marriage must end, and studies have shown some common reasons for this. At the top of the list is infidelity, when one spouse in a marriage is unfaithful to the other and the other spouse finds out somehow. The emotional trauma of discovering your spouse seeing someone else can easily lead to divorce, if not marriage counseling, and both men and women are known to cheat (though often for different reasons).
Meanwhile, abuse is another common reason to file for divorce and look for divorce attorneys. If a spouse is violently abusive or sexually abusive toward other members in the household, the other spouse may relocate to a private residence for their own safety and take their children with them. That spouse will also file for divorce, and might not see the other spouse in person very much, if at all. Drugs or alcohol may also be involved, and such substance abuse often leads to physical abuse as well. Even if it doesn’t, abusing drugs or alcohol puts a serious financial strain and emotional strain on the household, and a spouse abusing substances may lose their job, making the situation worse. If interventions and rehab can’t fix the situation, then the other spouse may file for divorce and dissolve the household entirely.
Not all divorces are on this scale, however. It is also common for Americans to divorce simply because they realize that they are not compatible with one another, as they may differ widely in their spending habits or their lifestyle. These low-intensity divorces may still call for legal assistance, or mediators to help out.
Getting Help With the Divorce
Households that suffer from abuse of some sort may involve one spouse leaving the household for a private residence elsewhere during the proceeding, and others won’t. Either way, a spouse who wants a divorce may first turn to local divorce law firms and find an attorney whose skills, experience, and personality are to their liking, and hire them. Such a lawyer may be found after consulting the attorneys who work at a local firm, which may or may not incur fees.
The divorcing spouse will file for a divorce and take the case to court, and the other spouse may hire their own divorce lawyer to represent their interests. If there are under-18 children in the household, custody of them may be hotly contested, so child custody lawyers may be hired as well. The spouses’ lawyers will negotiate over ownership and distribution of assets such as houses, cars, money in bank accounts, or even a privately owned business.
Some divorces, especially low-intensity ones, may not require so much legal action and drama. Rather, the two spouses can handle their own divorce, and they may hire a neutral third party to help: a mediator. This mediator helps draw out helpful and productive ideas from each spouse during the proceeding, to make the divorce smooth and fair for everyone involved. Using a mediator is more private than court, which the spouses may appreciate, and generally much less expensive as well.