When the decision has been made to get a divorce, there are certain steps that you have to take. There are a lot of forms to fill out, and you need to decide whether you want to get a legal separation in place first. A separation agreement can be helpful to have while you are working on the divorce. A legal separation can separate your finances and make sure you don’t take on more debt.
If you want to undergo mediation when you make the final decisions of your divorce, you can go to local divorce mediation offices. This can be a lower-cost way to get the decisions made about many things. While you have a petition for divorce, you can be making many of your decisions with the help of a mediator instead of a lawyer billing you for all of that time.
When it’s time to file a divorce paper, you can go into the last phase of your divorce with all of the big decisions already made. This can save you a huge amount of money in legal fees. It can also take a lot of the stress out of the divorce when you know that things are taken care of.
It’s no secret that divorce is common in the U.S. But whether you’ve never been married, are currently seeking out divorce lawyers or have already filed your divorce papers, you might not know these five facts about divorce:
- Divorce isn’t on the rise: The divorce rate is actually declining in the U.S. It peaked at 50% during the 1980s (probably why the “half of all marriages end in divorce” saying gets thrown around so much), but has since come down.
- People don’t get it right the second time: Subsequent marriages are more likely to end in divorce. The divorce rate for a first marriage is currently about 41%; that number is 60% for a second marriage and 73% for a third.
- Conservatives don’t divorce less: Although these states are known for more “traditional” values, Southern states and Republican states actually have a 27% higher divorce rate than Democratic states. This may be because couples in these states often marry at a younger age than those in liberal states.
- February is for ex-lovers: Perhaps ironically, given the enormous romantic weight given to Valentine’s Day, February is the month in which the most divorce processes are initiated.
- Waiting is worth it: Marriages last longer when the partners are older, have achieved higher education levels and earn more money.
- It’s not a quick fix: Divorce proceedings, on average, last about a year in the United States. However, the process can take either a much shorter or much longer time depending on whether the divorce is uncontested, if there are child custody issues to resolve, etc.
- Women remarry sooner: Statistically, men wait slightly longer than women to remarry after a divorce (3.3 years as opposed to 3.1).
- Multiple children add stress: Couples with twins or triplets are 17% more likely to divorce.
- Not all professions are equal: People in certain professions are more likely to divorce. Among them are salespeople, optometrists, podiatrists, nuclear engineers and agricultural engineers.
- Vegas weddings won’t always last: As of the 2012 census, Nevada had the highest divorce rate of any state in America (14.7%).
Which of these surprised you? Have you worked with divorce lawyers in the past or gotten any helpful divorce advice? Share your questions and comments below.