Folks who are divorcing are sometimes inclined to turn the matter into a giant fight. This may extend to threatening drawn-out legal battles. Divorce lawyers, however, tend to see the issue differently, and they will often encourage their clients to avoid conflicts. You might wonder why this is so let's look at why attorneys frequently prefer a quieter approach to divorce.
The Divorce System Is Effectively No-Fault
Simply put, the American legal system doesn't have much interest in drawn-out battles because it assigns no fault to either party when a marriage ends. No-fault divorce is available in every state, and it's the only option in many. Similarly, an at-fault divorce, if your state even allows it, probably isn't going to accomplish much unless there is big money at stake.
The no-fault system allows one party to declare irreconcilable differences as their cause for suing for divorce. Although many states have cooling-off periods built into their laws, no state allows one party to block a divorce. If one person wants out and continues to want out after the cooling-off period is over, the court is going to grant the divorce.
What's Worth Fighting Over?
To the extent there might be anything worth fighting over, it usually boils down to property, money, or kids. If the parties are willing to negotiate, they can split the property and money virtually any way they like. However, a judge will review the divorce agreement to ensure one side isn't taking advantage of the other.
If the two sides can't reach an agreement on property and money, the court will decide the issue. A judge has a duty to split the marital property equitably, not equally. This means a judge may order one party to pay support for a certain amount of time. In cases where one spouse is significantly disabled, the court may even order long-term spousal support payments. The judge will do this following state law so there isn't much value in fighting over it.
When it comes to issues involving kids, such as child support, custody, and visitation, the court will treat those as family law issues. If the parents can't reach an agreement, the judge will rule based on the best interests of the child. Unless there are clear signs of neglect, financial deprivation, or abuse, a judge isn't going to come down hard against one parent. Once more, getting into a fight benefits no one.
For more information, speak with a local divorce lawyer.