Going through a divorce is usually a somewhat unpleasant experience for most people, but it can often be the best choice for someone who is unhappy in their marriage. Because a divorce is a legal proceeding, you would do well to consult with a family law attorney about your rights and responsibilities throughout this process; however, note a few commonly asked questions about divorce, and this can help you better understand what to expect.
Can a spouse contest a divorce?
A spouse can file a response to the divorce proceeding, but rarely will a divorce not be granted simply because one spouse doesn't want to be divorced. There are some requirements that must be met for the divorce to be approved by the court, such as a certain time of separation, but one spouse simply objecting to a divorce is not likely to keep a judge from signing the divorce decree.
What if two people still live together?
While the court typically needs to see a term of separation as proof that the marriage has broken down, two people who live together can still provide evidence that they no longer have an actual relationship, and this might be sufficient for the court. This type of proof might include separate bank accounts, not sharing in outside activities together, no longer presenting themselves as a couple to outsiders, and the like. If you and your spouse still live together but want a divorce, ask a family law attorney about the best options for a divorce proceeding in your case.
How long before you can remarry?
Remarrying before a divorce is final is actually a crime, and that second marriage would not be legally valid in that case. Your attorney can advise you on when your divorce will be considered finalized so that you can remarry legally, but ensure you know this information before considering a second marriage to avoid a charge of bigamy and an annulment of that second marriage as well.
Can you change a child's surname or take on a maiden name?
Women can take on their maiden name quite easily when divorced, and your family law attorney can usually handle this paperwork for you during the divorce process. However, changing the surnames of children is more complicated and may require separate paperwork and court visits to show why the children's names should be changed. Speak to your attorney about his, and he or she can advise you on your rights in this matter and explain how to petition the court for a name change for children.