How to Divorce Your Wife

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Most Common Family Law Issues:

How Can I Divorce My Wife?

If you want to divorce your wife, you must decide is whether or not you want a separation agreement. In most states, a separation agreement sets guidelines for distribution of immediate resources as well as custody and visitation guidelines.

But a separation agreement is not a divorce and it is not a final settlement. When you are separated, you are still legally married.

Separation agreements are often later incorporated or converted into divorce agreements, so it is helpful to get the best possible agreement you can.

When you agree to a separation, you agree to slow down the divorce process to take time to consider all possible outcomes. Couples sometimes reconcile after separation periods. If you are certain that you are ready to divorce, a separation agreement may not be necessary.

Where Should I File for Divorce?

To start divorce proceedings, one of the first legal questions to settle is the question of residency. You will need to determine the home state where you can file the divorce.

It is an important step that can be difficult to make. For example, a couple who marries in the bride’s home state in South Carolina and then lives in suburban New Jersey. They decide to sell their house and split the proceeds equally during a separation agreement. This is an amicable decision and one that seems like it will simplify the process. They both then move separately into different apartments in New York City.

New York laws require certain conditions, like the marriage took place in New York or a continuous period of living in New York before filing for divorce. The couple are now neither residents of New Jersey or New York, and must live in New York for two continuous years before they can file for divorce.

Residency requirements for divorce filings depend on:

How Can I Get the Best Divorce Settlement?

One of the biggest differences between states when it comes to divorce procedures is equitable distribution vs. community property. They decide how assets accumulated during the marriage are divided between the spouses. It can depend on a number of different considerations such as lifestyle, income, and spousal contributions to the shared wealth.

The person who purchased assets or generated wealth may have more entitlement to larger chunks of that wealth with equitable distribution. But in community property states such as Arizona, California, Idaho, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin, wealth and property acquired during the marriage is considered equally shared. This means both spouses are also equally responsible, legally, for debts and outstanding loan balances. 

Do I Need a Divorce Lawyer?

Divorce is a very stressful time for everyone involved, and decisions about wealth division and child custody agreements can be difficult to navigate. Find a divorce lawyer to represent your best interests during negotiations and settlement talks.

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Last Modified: 03-04-2016 08:16 AM PST

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