Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce

If you are facing divorce or have been served with divorce papers, then you may have many questions. It is important that you retain skillful legal assistance that can provide you with answers and legal guidance when handling your case. The following are some of the more common questions that I am asked in regards to various family law issues:

My spouse just told me that he / she wants a divorce. What should I do now?

The first thing you should do is to retain legal counsel. An attorney can provide you with answers, advice, and legal assistance throughout the divorce process. You will also have to decide whether you are going to fight for every inch in courtroom litigation or if you are willing to compromise through peaceful mediation.

I've decided that I want a divorce. What is my next step?

If you wish to divorce your spouse, then you must begin by filing the documents with the court to start the process. It is highly advisable that you have skilled representation in your case to help you through this process.

What if I suspect that my spouse is committing adultery?

Adultery is a legitimate ground for divorce in the state of Louisiana. If you believe that your spouse is cheating on you, then there are several issues that must be addressed. You may want to confirm that your spouse is actually cheating on you. If your spouse does not want a divorce, then you must decide if you are willing to forgive and forget this incident. If circumstances take a turn for the worse, then you may benefit from making the first move.

What if my spouse suspects that I am committing adultery?

If your spouse believes that you are cheating, then you could be served divorce papers at any point. Whether or not you are actually cheating may not matter to them. You should learn what you need to do if you are served.

When spouses fight over custody of the children, how does the judge decide?

In any courtroom litigation circumstance pertaining to family law that involves children, the judge will always make a decision based on the needs and the best interests of any children involved. The judge will look at your ability to provide, how your home life is, and what the needs of any children are in order to make a decision that will benefit them.

Do children have a say in who they want to live with?

The desires of children can have some influence depending on their age and mental capacity; however, the judge will ultimately decide based on the ability of a parent to provide and facilitate growth and education for the child.

How do I tell my children about the divorce?

Divorce is a very serious issue that can drastically alter the lives of children. Telling them that you and your spouse are separating can be an emotionally traumatic experience for them. It is important to carefully consider what you say in order to soften the blow and help them look toward the future. You should consult with an experienced counselor before saying anything.

How is child support calculated?

As in all issues pertaining to children, a judge will evaluate the needs of the child, and the income of the parties, and make a decision for child support based on these elements.

I'm not working outside of the house right now. Am I going to be alright?

Throughout the United States, 50% of first-time marriages end in divorce. This amounts to thousands of divorces on a yearly basis, and this option is designed to be a form of relief from unwanted circumstances. It is important to remember the light at the end of the tunnel; a divorce process can be stressful and tedious, but you must continue to move forward to pave the way for a brighter future.

If we get a divorce, can I stay in the house?

It depends on a number of various circumstances. If you own the home jointly with your spouse and you wish to remain in the home, then there are compromises that can be made to facilitate this desire. For example, you could receive a smaller portion of the assets in exchange for your spouse's share of the home, or you could buy your spouse's share. Your specific circumstances are needed in order to give a more definite answer to this question. You should consult with an experienced attorney to insure the best possible result.

What do I wear to court?

Dressing professionally can greatly help your circumstances in issues like child custody. If the judge perceives you to be calm and a collected person who has their life in order, then the judge may look more favorably on your situation and see you as the parent who can better provide for any children involved.

How long does the process take?

Divorces can last anywhere from a few months to several years depending on what issues you are willing to compromise, whether you are facing mediation divorce, or hostile courtroom litigation. In addition, dividing up assets and liabilities can take a great deal of time. The total amount of time to complete the process depends on your circumstances and how hard you want to fight for certain issues.

Can I date during the divorce process?

Yes, but you should do so in a way that is respectful to all parties involved including your spouse. You should limit the contact between your children and folks you date.  Please contact Mr. Friley to receive a more detailed explanation if necessary.

What happens at the first Court appearance?

Typically, the first Court appearance will be about temporary fixes and moving the matter toward a trial or settlement. At that first Court appearance, your case will probably be one of many that the Court has scheduled to hear that day. The Court will not be able to hear a lot of evidence on any case. Therefore, the Court will usually render some temporary orders, with the understanding that each party will have opportunity to make a detailed presentation of their positions at some later Court date.

Can my spouse and I avoid Court?

Possibly. If you and your spouse are able to reach agreement on all of the major issues, the attorneys can draw up a Stipulated Judgment for signature by the parties, the attorneys and the Judge. You should consult with an experienced family law attorney to determine your position on each of the major issues.

Warning:

If you are possibly facing a custody battle with the other parent of your children, you should be aware that anything you say to a doctor, counselor or therapist is NOT privileged.  What you say in such sessions, even if you are the only one in the session CAN be used against you.

Representation in Your Divorce Case

I am Attorney Keith Friley and I can provide you with the answers that you need in your case. In addition, I can provide you with skillful and highly experienced representation to help you pursue amicable results in your divorce or family law issues. With over 30 years of experience, I can assist you by putting my experience and knowledge of the courts and legal system to work for you. Contact my firm today to discuss your case and how I can help you.