Making preparations to get a divorce can be a stressful experience even for those couples that have amicable relationships and agree on the separation. A split can be even more challenging to endure when you and your spouse cannot agree on terms such as child custody and division of assets. Having all the correct information regarding the process will help you to prepare for what the future will hold both during and after the dissolution of marriage is final.
As of 2019, all 50 states offer no-fault grounds for divorce. However, only 17 states are known as “true” no-fault states, meaning that casting blame is not an option in those states. Montana is a “true” no-fault state where couples can only file on no-fault grounds. Montana is an equitable distribution state, which means a reasonable division when considering many factors such as the length of marriage, contribution to the marital estate, ensuring childrens’ lifestyles remain the same in both households, and whether both parties are self-supporting. A fair and accurate assessment of all assets would be essential in ensuring that both parties share equitably.
Criteria for Divorce in Montana
In Montana, divorce is called a dissolution of marriage in which a couple can separate and yet still have arrangements with the court regarding ongoing child custody and support issues. There are two criteria for a Montana court to grant a divorce petition: the parties have been living apart for over six months, or significant marital discord exists leading to irreconcilable differences. There are no legal means for preventing divorce in Montana if one party wants it and the other does not.
Each party in a divorce should retain a separate attorney to avoid any conflicts of interest. A skilled attorney with proper credentials and experience can provide mediation services that speed up divorce resolution. It is of great benefit to attempt to come to a unified agreement ahead of time with your spouse about the terms of the divorce so that it can proceed without impediment. If an agreement cannot be reached, a trial would be necessary.
The Legal Divorce Process
Since there are no juries in divorce trials and Montana is a no-fault state, the only reason a divorce would go to trial is if the two parties cannot agree on terms such as child custody, child or spousal support, and property division. It will save a tremendous amount of time and money if you and your spouse agree on some of these things before filing for a divorce. If you cannot, you relinquish control over the situation, leaving it to the discretion of the judge.
When you are looking for expert legal advice before filing for a divorce, reach out to S. DeBoer, Attorney at Law. Our courteous, knowledgeable legal team can answer questions and address your concerns about the process. If you would like further support, you may request an appointment with S. DeBoer for a free, no-obligation consultation. Our mission is to help relieve you of the stress, worry, and hassle by helping you move forward swiftly with your dissolution of marriage. Give us a call today.