During Divorce, You Need Answers
Every family is one-of-a-kind, and at Hansen Law, we are committed to understanding the unique needs and stories of each of our clients. Nonetheless, many of the people we have worked with over the years have come into our office with some of the same questions about the legal process of divorce. For your convenience, we’ve collected some of the most frequently asked questions and provided answers below:
How long will the process take?
It depends on a number of factors such as whether the divorce is contested or contested, whether you have children, how much you own in marital property and how much each party is willing to compromise in dividing that property. But our firm is committed to keeping the process moving forward at all times, so that it doesn’t take any longer than it needs to.
Can my spouse and I use the same attorney?
No. In a divorce, spouses ending their marriage are considered to have an inherent conflict of interest. After all, the bulk of the divorce process involves negotiating the division of assets and, when applicable, reaching a mutually satisfactory arrangement for child custody, child support and/or spousal support. Even when both parties are willing to actively cooperate, they cannot both be represented by the same attorney.
What if I don’t want to get a divorce?
It is a common occurrence that one spouse may want a divorce when the other does not. Ultimately, it only takes one person to end a marriage since the other spouse cannot force them to stay married. However, there are steps a couple can take to create time and space for reflecting on their marriage before pursuing the legal dissolution of their marriage. Many couples use a trial separation, during which period they live in separate buildings, in order to take a break from some of the factors that have caused stress in the marriage, and to get a taste of what life might look like without a spouse.
While some people think of a trial separation as a “first step” toward divorce, it doesn’t have to play that role. It truly is a trial, or an experiment. Many couples have gone through a trial separation and then decide to make another concerted effort at making things work within their marriage.
Do I have to move out of my home? Do we have to sell it?
No one has to move out of their home just because they are looking into divorce. But sooner or later, if you and your spouse have indeed decided to end your marriage, you will have to make arrangements to live in separate dwellings – separate habitation is one of the core ways in which a couple can demonstrate to the state that they are no longer acting as a couple.
There are no universal rules, though, about exactly how the parties should create their new living arrangement. You certainly have the option to sell your home, but that is by no means required. One partner can stay in the house, or the other can. Whatever decision you reach will be factored into the discussion about dividing property.
Am I Going To Get Deported?
If you have permanent residency in the United States, divorcing a citizen is not grounds for deportation. However, if you were married less than two years, your stay in America may be in jeopardy. Getting help from a family law attorney can increase your chances of being allowed to stay.
Have More Questions? We Have Answers.
If you have more questions about the divorce process, the next step is to call our office at 509-388-0160, or contact us online to schedule an initial consultation. From our office in Yakima, Hansen Law serves clients throughout Washington.