Divorce can be one of the most challenging experiences a family will ever face, and it can be even worse for both parties when children are involved. Both spouses often have hurt feelings which can erupt into anger and resentment.
However, there are steps each spouse can take in Maine to keep the process civil and make the transition to their new lives smoother. That’s especially important for children, but also for the physical, emotional and financial well-being for both spouses.
Taking a more reasoned and informed approach
Divorce is the final step in your marriage and how you approach the process may set the tone for communicating with your ex as you start new lives. Here are some factors to consider before starting the process:
Make sure divorce is the best option: Financial or communication issues are two of the most common reasons why relationships struggle. Deal directly with these issues to discover whether a foundation of love and respect remains that can save the marriage.
Strive for mutual respect: If you decide divorce is the best option, respecting your spouse may be challenging depending upon the underlying causes, especially if infidelity was involved. However, anger can lead to longer and costlier divorces and take more of a toll on your children.
Look for common goals: While you will likely disagree on many issues, finding a purpose that is beneficial to both of you can help ease the process. Putting your children first or agreeing to come out of the divorce as equals emotionally and financially can help eliminate contentious behavior. Make sure to communicate those goals to your attorneys.
Features under Maine law: Once filed, the divorce process will take 60 days at a minimum but will most likely last three months to a year or more. The process can include the following:
- Case management conferences: When children under 18 years old are involved, both parties and their attorneys must attend these conferences with a family law magistrate to discuss custody and support issues.
- Mediation: A judge will order a third-party mediator if spouses cannot reach agreement on all issues before going to court.
- Interim hearings: A family law magistrate or a judge will conduct a hearing on preliminary financial issues and parental rights and responsibilities.
- Final Hearing: If the parties are unable to resolve all issues directly with one another, through counsel or with mediation, a final contested hearing will be scheduled.
Know your rights and seek professional guidance
Divorce can be a painful and contentious process but seeking representation by an experienced family law attorney here in Maine who will treat you with respect and keep you informed can make the process easier to find the best possible outcome.