Law Offices
of Ed Laughlin

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DIVORCE

The Law Offices of Ed L. Laughlin represents civilians and military personnel who are going through a divorce. We understand this can be a frustrating and emotional time for individuals and their children. We strive to obtain outcomes that prepare clients for their new lives and adequately protect their rights and interests. If you would like to know more about divorce, or if your spouse has made his or her wishes known about a divorce, then you need divorce attorney Ed Laughlin. Please contact our firm to arrange your free consultation.

We represent clients in various divorce and divorce-related issues. We are vigorous advocates for our clients, striving to obtain the most favorable outcomes for often times confusing and unfavorable conditions.

CONTESTED OR UNCONTESTED

Unfortunately, a contested divorce is more time-consuming and costly than an uncontested divorce. While it may be considered unfavorable for these reasons, it's still a reality for many couples. The term "contested divorce" is misleading because it doesn't necessarily mean that one of the parties doesn't want to end the marriage. In most cases, it refers to a disagreement on the terms of the divorce. Attorney, Ed Laughlin, can speak to the specifics of the designations, but, generally speaking, in order to qualify for an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse must agree upon every term of the decree including:

  • the division of property;
  • spousal support (otherwise known as spousal maintenance or alimony);
  • child custody (otherwise known as conservatorship);
  • child visitation; and
  • child support.

When one or both parties can't agree on the above mentioned factors, the divorce is contested. Merely agreeing to get divorced does not make it uncontested. The parties must agree on all of the terms as well. There are still many options for settlement negotiation, including mediation. Although most cases settle, when they settle varies widely depending on the issues involved.

PROPERTY

It is common for a divorcing couple to decide about dividing their property and debts themselves, rather than leave it to the judge. But if a couple cannot agree, they can submit their property dispute to the court, which will use state law to divide the property. Division of property does not necessarily mean a physical division. Rather, the court awards each spouse a percentage of the total value of the property. (It is illegal for either spouse to hide assets in order to shield them from property division.) Each spouse gets items whose worth adds up to his or her percentage.

All property of a married person is classified as either community property, owned equally by both spouses, or the separate property of one spouse. At divorce, community property is generally divided equally between the spouses, while each spouse keeps his or her separate property.

If children are involved, the parent who spends the most time with the kids, or provides their primary care, usually remains in the marital home with them. If you don't have children and the house is the separate property of just one spouse, that spouse has the legal right to ask the other to leave. If, however, you don't have children and you own the house together, this question gets tricky. Neither of you has a legal right to kick the other out. You can request that the other person leave, but he or she doesn't have to. If your spouse changes the locks, or somehow prevents you from entering the home, you can call the police. The police will probably direct your spouse to open the door. When you both own the home, the only time you can get your spouse to leave is if domestic violence has been committed and a judge grants a restraining order.

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