Many times I see clients unsure of whether a divorce
is right for them and instead of working through the issue opt to live separate lives from their spouse. In many cases, these separate lives continue for years or decades. Divorce
is not an easy decision and it takes an understandable amount of time to get to that point. Once you separate with no intention of getting back together it is important to file for divorce quickly as there can be some pitfalls to prolonging the process.
First, any property, assets or debt accumulated during the time you are legally married can be considered marital. This includes any accumulation of monies in a 401(k), retirement account or pension. Even debt incurred by a spouse for gambling, frivolous items or necessities may be marital. I have even seen a case where one spouse racks up enormous debt and because the parties were legally married (even though living separate lives) those debts were marital and the other spouse was liable. Yes, there are arguments on both sides and ways to lessen the impact or get around those pitfalls. However, it is important to understand the issues waiting can pose which all could be avoided if a divorce is filed quickly.
Secondly, waiting can impact which state has jurisdiction to make an initial child custody determination in a divorce action. If a child
moves out of state with a parent after separation for a period of six months this can create problems under the Uniform Child Custody and Jurisdiction Act as the child
may have a new "home state" for jurisdictional purposes when it comes to making an initial determination regarding custody and parenting time
. It is always best to nip these issues in the bud immediately to ensure a parent does not go months or years without contact with their child
and to put an order in place which reflects the best interest of the child
Thirdly, a divorce
can be a means to provide closure and allow parties to move on.
is not an easy decision waiting can have a significant financial impact, potentially jeopardize a parent's relationship with their child and impact which state is the "home state" which ultimately decides issues of custody. If we can be service to you in handling a criminal
, license restoration
, support or family law
issue please do not hesitate to contact our office.
Please visit our website jwbissell.com, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us by phone at 517.351.6222.