Middletown Divorce Lawyer
There are many issues to consider when you are contemplating divorce. You may be hesitant to discuss your situation with a stranger, but speaking with someone who understands the law and how it might affect you could be critical to achieving a successful outcome.
A Middletown divorce lawyer could review your family situation, listen to your worries, explain the law, and offer advice. Your future depends on making the right choices and decisions during your divorce action, so do not take chances—consult a skilled family attorney to explore your potential options.
Important Facts About Divorce
To obtain a divorce in Middletown, one spouse is required to have resided in the state for a year before a divorce action is filed or the final divorce decree is entered. The residency requirement may be waived if during the marriage a spouse relocated out of state, then moved back.
Sometimes a spouse may opt to file for divorce using specific reasons or grounds. The benefit of filing for an at-fault divorce is often to obtain an expedited divorce or in situations where the other spouse is unavailable. Some of the grounds for an at-fault divorce are:
- Fraud in the marriage contract – concealing a medical condition or criminal history
- Residency in a mental hospital
- Desertion for more than a year
- Drug or alcohol addiction that impairs the marriage
As a Middletown divorce lawyer may explain, most divorces are filed as no-fault divorce on grounds of irreconcilable differences. This reason means that the marriage has failed permanently and there is no hope for reconciliation.
Method of Filing for Divorce
The spouse filing for divorce, the plaintiff, submits a document to the court called a complaint that gives the court details about the marriage. The complaint provides a brief history of the marriage, living arrangements of the parties, the reason for seeking a divorce, and information about any children involved.
The plaintiff spouse may include in the complaint a request for division of assets, spousal support, child custody, and child support. The complaint, as well as a summons, is then served on the other spouse. In addition, the other spouse receives a notice of the automatic temporary restraining order.
An automatic temporary restraining order is a court order that immediately orders the spouses to refrain from doing anything that would affect marital assets or children without notification and consent from the other spouse. Spending money for day-to-day living expenses is allowed, as well as paying regular bills. Examples of forbidden actions include selling assets, incurring debts such as a new mortgage, changing beneficiaries on insurance policies, or relocating to a different state with children.
Time Frame for a Dissolution of Marriage
It takes approximately 120 days from the filing of divorce papers to the final divorce decree that dissolves a marriage. If the parties are fighting over division of assets and support, the process can take a very long time. The case may go to trial if an agreement cannot be reached through mediation.
When the divorce complaint is filed with the court, the other party is given four weeks to respond. After that date, the spouses are given 90 days in which to draft and sign an agreement. At the end of 90 days, the parties submit their agreement to the court for approval and the divorce may be finalized. If the parties cannot reach an agreement within the 90-day period, the judge may order a trial.
The court may issue temporary orders for the period between the filing of the complaint and the end of the 90-day period for developing an agreement. The orders may award temporary custody of the children, visitation arrangements for the non-custodial parent, child support, and spousal support amounts. The orders may also dictate how bills will be paid and who will remain in the marital home.
Getting Assistance from a Middletown Divorce Attorney
Going through a divorce can be emotionally draining, time-consuming, and costly. Obtaining solid legal advice now could help you avoid costly consequences later. Call an experienced Middletown divorce lawyer today for a consultation.