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Divorce can be an emotionally taxing journey, and when it comes to common-law marriages it can be even harder. Here, we will take you through the steps for divorce from such relationships while offering valuable insights and providing advice on identifying an attorney to guide this emotional process. So let's get going!
What Is Common Law Marriage?
Common law marriage is a legal concept that recognizes couples as married without formalizing it with a wedding ceremony or license application. Keep in mind, though, that laws concerning common law marriage differ by state and don't necessarily recognize this form of relationship as valid.
What Is the Difference Between Marriage and Common-Law Marriage?
Marriage as it is commonly understood involves an official ceremony with vows exchanged. Conversely, common law marriage occurs when couples live together and hold themselves out as married without formal wedding or license ceremonies or events taking place. While specifics of common law marriage may vary between jurisdictions, its basic elements typically include cohabitation, mutual consent and an intention to become married.
How Can I End a Common Law Marriage?
Divorcing from a common law marriage follows similar legal steps as traditional marriages. Here are the key steps that can help guide you through this process:
- Understanding Your State's Laws: Educate yourself on the unique laws pertaining to common-law marriages in your state. Consult credible sources or speak with an attorney as soon as possible in order to acquire accurate information.
- Assign a Date of Separation: Determine the date that marks the beginning of your divorce proceedings, such as when you and your partner stopped living together or mutually agreed upon the termination of the relationship.
- Gather Documentation: Before initiating divorce proceedings, gather essential documents like financial records and property titles as well as any additional pertinent data that will be needed during this time.
- Seek Legal Advice: Though you have the option of proceeding without legal representation, hiring a divorce attorney can offer several advantages that will ease the complexities of the process and bring more peace.
Why Is Hiring A Divorce Attorney Better Than Going It Alone?
Divorce proceedings, even for common law marriages, involve numerous legal complexities that can be daunting to navigate on your own. Hiring an attorney would be wise; here's why.
- Legal Expertise: Divorce attorneys specialize in family law and are well-versed in handling these complex proceedings. A good divorce lawyer will offer invaluable guidance, protect your rights, and ensure the process goes as smoothly as possible.
- Emotion-Free Advice: Emotions can easily cloud our judgment during a divorce, making sound decisions challenging to come by. An attorney offers an objective perspective and advice based on legal expertise instead of emotions.
- Negotiation and Representation: A skilled attorney can negotiate on your behalf in order to achieve a fair agreement regarding property division, child custody arrangements, spousal support payments, or any other relevant issues. Should your case go to trial, they will fight tirelessly on your behalf in court proceedings.
When Should You Consult an Attorney?
While ultimately it is up to you to decide whether or not to hire an attorney, certain situations necessitate legal assistance:
- Complex Assets: If you and your spouse own significant joint assets, investments, or business interests together, retaining legal assistance to assist in the division of property is vital to ensure both of your interests are safeguarded financially.
- Child Custody Disputes: Disputes over child custody can be emotionally and legally draining, so having an attorney present to help guide the process and advocate for your children's best interests will make the experience much smoother.
- Domestic Violence or Abuse: If you are the victim of domestic violence or abuse in your relationship, hiring an attorney is absolutely crucial to getting protection orders issued and ensuring your well-being during divorce proceedings.
What Are the Criteria for Selecting an Excellent Attorney?
When searching for the ideal attorney to represent you in a divorce matter, several criteria should be kept in mind to find one who meets all your requirements. Here are a few key ones.
- Experience: When hiring an attorney for divorce and family law cases, look for one with extensive experience. An experienced attorney understands all of the nuances involved and can anticipate potential challenges more effectively than less experienced attorneys can.
- Reputation: Investigate an attorney's reputation by reading client reviews, seeking referrals from trusted sources, and looking at professional affiliations. A positive reputation demonstrates their professionalism and dedication to clients.
- Communication Skills: Establishing an effective dialogue between yourself and your attorney is of the utmost importance. Make sure they are attentive, responsive and clearly explain all legal concepts and procedures.
- Affordable: Consider whether the attorney fee structure aligns with your budget. Divorce can be costly; finding an attorney with transparent pricing is key to ensuring a smooth journey ahead.
- Compatibility: Building trust with your attorney is vitally important, so select one with whom you feel at ease to share personal details and who understands your individual needs and goals.
Why Choose Drama-Free Divorce
At Drama Free Divorce, we meet and surpass these criteria. Our experienced divorce attorneys specialize in common-law marriage cases and understand their complexities while maintaining a stellar reputation of providing personalized and compassionate service to ensure a stress-free journey for you. Furthermore, our transparent pricing structure and open communication set us apart so you can focus on rebuilding your life instead.
Suggested Action Steps
- Before initiating divorce proceedings, research the legal requirements in your state for a common-law marriage to gain insight into any necessary requirements for dissolving.
- Assess your situation to decide if hiring a divorce attorney is necessary based on its complexity, child custody matters or any history of domestic violence.
- Reach out and research reputable divorce attorneys in your area, taking into account experience, reputation, communication skills, affordability and compatibility when making your selections.
- Set up consultations with potential lawyers so you can discuss your case and assess their suitability to your needs.
- Make an informed choice and hire the attorney that best meets your goals and can guide you through the divorce process with expertise and empathy.
- Once armed with all necessary documentation, commence proceedings under their guidance and advice.
- Prioritize self-care and seek emotional support from friends, family, or professionals when dealing with the emotional challenges associated with divorce.
Divorce can be an emotionally and financially draining chapter of life. With proper support and care, however, it can become an opportunity for personal growth and new beginnings. Contact us today at 816 615-5555 or send us an email on our Contact Page.