A common misconception about divorce is that it is always a long and messy process between two angry adults. However, that is often not the case.
There are multiple ways to end a marriage, and some of them offer a peaceful, fast track to parting ways.
If you and your spouse agree about the terms of your separation, you do not even need to go through a divorce trial. In Louisiana, couples with minor children that live separately for more than a year can simply sign paperwork and file it with the court as long as they agree on the terms of custody. Couples without children only need to live in separate households for six months.
Some uncontested divorces require a form called a consent judgment when the terms of the divorce are more complex. This happens when you have many assets or want to document child or spousal support payment agreements.
A contested divorce occurs when spouses cannot reach an agreement on divorce terms. In this case, you may need a judge to make the decisions for you. Many factors can affect the timeframe of a contested divorce:
- Disagreements about child custody or support
- Concealment of assets
- The issue of spousal maintenance
- Unrealistic expectations
- Alleged abuse in the marriage
- Disputes over the division of property
Whether you disagree on one aspect or all aspects of the divorce, without a total agreement, you have a contested divorce. Sometimes you can reach a settlement through negotiations or mediation before taking it to court.
Whatever the circumstances surrounding your separation, you have options to exhaust before suffering a lengthy, painful divorce process.