Derby Divorce Lawyer

You and your spouse have decided to end your marriage, but you may be unsure of what the next steps are. An experienced Derby divorce lawyer could be a great asset to you during this time.

A well-informed family attorney could explain how divorce law operates and how the law affects your situation. Courts require documents that may be complicated to draft, and you may need the advice and assistance of a lawyer who knows these rules. Divorce is a very sensitive, lengthy, and often costly process, and you do not want to make mistakes that could adversely affect your life in the future.

Jurisdiction of the Court

The first step in filing for divorce is to determine whether the court has jurisdiction over the parties. Jurisdiction means that the court has the power to pass down orders for issues relating to the divorce and the ability to grant the final divorce.  The final divorce declaration is called a dissolution of marriage.

In general, it is necessary for one of the spouses to have resided in the state for the prior year for the court to exercise jurisdiction over the parties. The 12-month requirement may be met using the time period prior to the filing or to the court entering the final divorce decree. As a Derby divorce lawyer might explain, the one exception to this rule is when one of the spouses lived in the state during the marriage, moved out of state, and then returned to the state during the marriage.

No-Fault Divorce

Courts in Derby do not require a spouse to state a specific reason for seeking divorce. The term “No-Fault” is commonly used, which means that the marriage is irretrievably broken and there is no chance of reconciliation. However, during a divorce proceeding, the court may take evidence of misconduct by either party under consideration.

An uncontested divorce is one in which a divorcing couple agree on major issues, such as distributing assets and support, prior to the marriage being formally dissolved. It generally takes around 120 from the date of filing to complete an uncontested divorce.  The court requires a 90-day period after all paperwork is filed so that spouses have time to reconsider the divorce action.

At-Fault Divorce

In some cases, a spouse may choose to file for divorce using one of the fault categories. At-fault grounds for divorce may be chosen in circumstances where the other spouse is unavailable for trial or when one spouse wishes to divorce more quickly than is usual.

Some of the potential grounds for an at-fault divorce include:

  • Cruel and inhuman treatment
  • Desertion for a year or more
  • Adultery
  • Fraud
  • Imprisonment for certain types of crimes
  • Drunkenness or drug use that impacts the marriage’s financial condition

Division of Assets and Debts

Some states follow a community property scheme when dividing marital assets, while other states use an equitable distribution formula. In community property states, all assets and debts accumulated during the marriage are considered property of both spouses jointly, regardless of ownership title.

Derby courts follow an equitable distribution formula when dividing assets.  Property that is acquired by either spouse during the marriage belongs to the spouse who earned it. Upon divorce, assets and debts are divided in a fair manner, which may not be exactly equal.

Marital Property

Marital property can include tangible property, bank accounts, investment accounts, and debts. Most of the time, an asset one spouse obtains through an inheritance or gift is not considered marital property. However, when a gift or inheritance benefits both spouses, the asset may be considered marital property and subject to division.

Calling a Derby Divorce Attorney

Divorce laws can be confusing. You may benefit from a consultation with a knowledgeable Derby Divorce lawyer who could explain the required steps, offer alternatives, and represent you every step of the way. Call today to schedule a consultation.