New Albany Divorce Lawyers
New Albany Divorce Lawyers Representing Family and Domestic Law Clients
The prospect of divorce scares just about everyone. Divorce is not fun, even though it may be necessary. But what makes it so terrifying is the unknown, all the unanswered questions that keep you awake at night. The divorce lawyers at McNeely Stephenson can help.
Whether you’ve already decided it’s time to file for divorce or you just want the security of knowing your options, our New Albany divorce lawyers are here for you. We serve clients in both Indiana and Kentucky. Consult with us and we’ll tell you what to expect. We’ll give you the answers you need and then work with you to build the best plan to help you and your family get through this tumultuous time.
A lot of decisions need to be made involving family, money, possessions, and who lives where, and scores of other big and small items must be settled in a relatively short time. Many can have long-lasting effects. To protect your interests and quality of life, it is important to choose a divorce lawyer who listens to you, understands your needs, can give you good options, then competently implements your decisions.
During initial consultations with a New Albany divorce attorney at McNeely Stephenson, we can explain the process, answer your most urgent questions, and begin preparing you for the big decisions which await. And we do it with tact and diplomacy. For an initial consultation about your divorce situation, call a qualified New Albany divorce lawyer at (812) 347-4425.
How Can New Albany Divorce Lawyers Help Me?
The time to retain the services of a New Albany divorce attorney is when you’re seriously thinking about getting divorced. There are many issues that can be involved in a divorce proceeding, including child custody and support, spousal support, and the division of assets and debts. There can be emotional, social and tax consequences of how a divorce plays out. This all requires thought and planning. That’s where an experienced New Albany divorce lawyer can help guide you through the process, answer all your questions, and explain your options. Divorce is already stressful enough without having to try to figure out a complicated legal system, too.
You should also hire a divorce attorney if you’ve been served with a divorce filing by your spouse, to help you protect your rights and interests. Likewise, you should retain a divorce attorney before you marry so you and your future spouse can create a prenuptial agreement that could make a potential future divorce easier and less stressful.
Keys to Hiring a Divorce Lawyer in New Albany, Indiana
You should find a divorce lawyer with the experience and knowledge needed to fully protect your rights and interests. You don’t want to hire an attorney who will learn about divorce while working on yours. The vast majority of divorces are resolved through negotiation, so an attorney with good negotiating skills will be very helpful. You will be sharing very intimate details of your life with your attorney, so you also need to find one you are comfortable talking to and can trust.
Ask a Potential Divorce Lawyer These Questions
There are many questions to ask a divorce lawyer you’re considering hiring, including…
- How many divorce cases have you handled?
- What have you learned while taking these cases?
- How much do you charge for your services?
- Do you specialize in divorce or family law, or do you practice in a number of areas?
- Do you work on your cases or have another attorney in the firm do the work for you?
- What makes you different from all the other attorneys in the area that represent clients in divorce cases?
- Why should I trust you to represent me?
Timing for Consulting a New Albany Divorce Attorney
It’s important to talk to a divorce attorney if you are thinking about getting divorced. There are many issues that can be involved in a divorce proceeding, including child custody and support, spousal support, and the division of assets and debts. There can be emotional, social and tax consequences of how a divorce plays out. This all requires thought and planning.
You should also hire a divorce attorney if you’ve been served with a divorce filing by your spouse, to help you protect your rights and interests. You should also retain a divorce attorney before you marry so you and your future spouse can create a prenuptial agreement which could make a potential, future divorce easier and less stressful. For an initial consultation, call a New Albany divorce lawyer at (812) 347-4425.
Ask an Attorney How Long Your Divorce Might Take
For an uncontested, no-fault divorce, you would need to wait at least sixty days after it’s filed before a judge will finalize the divorce. Temporary orders can be issued when the divorce is filed, but the actual divorce and final orders won’t be done until at least sixty days pass from the filing of the divorce. A contested divorce, if it can’t be resolved through negotiations and goes through the trial process, along with potential appeals, could take years. For answers to questions about how long your specific divorce might take, call a qualified New Albany divorce lawyer at (812) 347-4425.
Most Divorce Cases Are Never Tried in Court
At least three in four divorces don’t wind up being litigated. We are part of your negotiating team, working with other divorce attorneys, under the supervision of the court, to reach agreement on the final details. Essentially, we “do the deal.” You benefit from a legal team which can represent your interests on issues like child custody, visitation, child support, and division of assets.
Because of the emotions involved and constant changes in the law itself, family law cases can be some of the most challenging for any firm. Overwrought parents (and grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc.), angry couples who’ve grown used to fighting, and confused children who are caught in the middle are just a few of the issues we deal with on a regular basis.
Call an Attorney for Divorce Today
Emotions run high and feelings can be complicated during a divorce, not to mention the hurt feelings and uncertainties that the children may experience. That’s why you need a calm, level-headed attorney for divorce at your side. An experienced divorce lawyer functions apart from the emotional stress and focuses intently on legal issues. With skill, an attorney can both show compassion for his or her client and family while still being matter-of-fact about the legal issues involved and their consequences. For a consultation about your situation, call an experienced attorney for divorce today at (812) 347-4425.
We Are Family Law Specialists
But there’s another side of the coin. Family law isn’t always full of fear and angst. We feel privileged to help with adoptions, represent mothers in receiving child support, and work with couples who negotiate mutually agreeable settlements, allowing them to positively move to the next stage of their lives. Divorce, like everything else in life, is what you make of it.
Understanding the Divorce Process
In Indiana the process starts with the filing of a “petition for dissolution of marriage.” It contains the grounds for the divorce and the relief sought.
Relief covers the divorce itself and related issues such as what happens to the marital house, child custody and visitation rights, who pays for health insurance and spousal support/alimony.
The other spouse can file a response that also declares grounds for the divorce and requests relief. If no response is filed or your spouse can’t be found, the court will enter a judgment for divorce by default. This should result in the petitioning spouse getting whatever he or she sought in the divorce complaint.
Contested and Uncontested Divorces—Negotiation, Mediation, or Litigation
In an uncontested divorce, a couple agrees on all terms and conditions of the divorce. Contested divorces are just the opposite — there are disputes over issues such as custody, finances, or property division. But many couples with differences want to resolve them amicably, without a courtroom battle. In such cases, we help with negotiated or mediated settlements.
But then there’s that one-in-four case destined for the courtroom, when there’s so much conflict that only a family court judge can resolve the situation. Experienced trial lawyers on your New Albany legal team deliver the support and expertise you need during litigation. Whatever method of dissolution serves your purpose, our Floyd County divorce lawyers protect your parental and spousal rights and work for the most favorable outcome.
Where to File for Divorce in IN or KY
You need to be a resident of Indiana or Kentucky for at least six months in your respective state before you can file for a divorce, which would be with the clerk of the court’s office in your county.
Indiana has the sixth highest divorce rate in the country, according to the Indianapolis Star, with 19.6 of every 1,000 married people divorcing in 2016. The state with the highest divorce rate is Arkansas, with 23.4 out of every 1,000 married individuals divorcing that year. Massachusetts is the lowest, with 12.1, and the national average is 18.5.
Factors to Consider During a Divorce
You need to think about your current situation and the life you would like to have after a divorce. Emotions are running high, but this is a time to calmly think through what you will need in the future. To the best of your ability, set aside some time to take a clear-eyed look at the following factors.
Questions to consider include:
What assets and debts could be yours?
Marital assets are often divided, but some assets that you brought into the marriage can remain yours. Also, pay attention to any credit cards and loans that are in both your name and your spouse’s name – these debts belong to both of you regardless of who keeps the items purchased unless a divorce agreement articulates otherwise. There are additional issues at play if yours is a high-asset divorce. These are all things you will want to discuss with your divorce attorney.
If you have children, what role do you want in their lives after the divorce?
Do you want to share custody, or are you planning to pursue sole custody? What kind of visitation arrangements would work for you and your estranged spouse? Where will the children go to school, and who will manage pick-up and drop-off duties? All of these issues will play into the quality of your interactions with your children going forward.
Have you made professional sacrifices for your spouse or to raise your kids?
Did you give up a promising career to stay at home and raise children for several years? Have you passed up promotions so that you didn’t have to travel for work and could be at home with your family on evenings and weekends? Did you work a lot of overtime hours to help put your spouse through college or graduate school so that your spouse could get better jobs and advance his or her career? All of these could represent professional sacrifices you’ve made for the good of the marriage and family.
If so, what would it take financially to get education and training to allow you to get a good job so you can support yourself?
If you’ve been out of the workforce for some time, you may need computer training, resume assistance, career counseling and even college coursework to catch up and land a meaningful job. All of these things cost money, and they take time. You will want to ask for these things as part of a divorce agreement.
Post- and Pre-Nuptial Agreements
Very often these days, married couples have pre-nuptial agreements put in place before a wedding, and some couples even have post-nuptial agreements. A pre-nuptial agreement sets out parameters agreed to by both parties about division of assets and other matters should a divorce occur. A post-nuptial agreement is a legal document created after the wedding that addresses some of these same issues. If you have one of these agreements, get it out and review it. Also, you will want to share this document with your attorney.
You may be asking for spousal maintenance, as part of a divorce settlement if your spouse earns significantly more from their career than you do or if you are a stay-at-home parent. Courts determine alimony based on a variety of factors including the length of the marriage, a spouse’s annual salary and assets, your living expenses, and other things. You will want to begin thinking about whether and how much alimony to ask for.
Over the past decades, a movement advocating grandparents’ rights has gained traction. Today, in many states, grandparents can win visitation and even custody of their grandchildren – when circumstances warrant and it is in the best interests of the child.
But laws governing grandparent rights vary from state to state:
Indiana restricts grandparent visitation and requires that a parent be divorced, deceased, or that paternity be established for children born out of wedlock. When both parents are living and married to each other, the court does not hear requests for grandparent visitation.
Questions About Grandparents’ Rights?
If you are concerned about grandparents’ visitation rights talk to our New Albany divorce lawyers. We can explain how visitations with grandparents will work in your case. To learn more about how a divorce could affect your rights, call a qualified New Albany divorce lawyer at (812) 347-4425.
Things To Think About In Advance
Before taking any legal steps, there are several things to think about in advance. Below are some things to consider:
What Should I Do Before Filing for Divorce?
Think about the future life you want and what you need to do now to make it possible. Set up a post office mail box and your own email account so your attorney can confidentially mail or email you correspondence and material. Make copies of financial records, insurance policies, tax returns and documents concerning a spouse’s ownership of a business. You may need to refer to them in the divorce process, and it’s important to copy them while you have full access.
What Should I Do Before Telling My Spouse?
Tell him or her the truth about how you feel and what you plan on doing. Don’t make the situation worse by getting angry or laying blame. This is about starting a new life that both of you can benefit from.
How to Consider Children in the Divorce
Don’t play your children against your spouse, known as “parental alienation.” Unless you have genuine, legitimate concerns about your children’s welfare if your spouse is responsible for them, you should approach child custody as the two of you sharing responsibilities and time with them. Children may think that they’re to blame for your divorce. Make it clear to them that’s not the case, that the two of you love them, and that you will still be important parts of their lives.
In Indiana you can file for a legal separation. While a divorce ends your marriage, a legal separation does not. A judge can issue orders like those in a divorce case concerning division of property and debts, child custody and support. A legal separation can last up to a year. For an initial consultation about your divorce situation, call an experienced New Albany divorce lawyer at (812) 347-4425.
Divorce Attorneys Can Make the Process Easier In the Future
Once a divorce is granted, that’s not necessarily the end of things. As circumstances change, we continue to provide families with follow-up legal help if modification of custody, support, or visitation is needed. Our divorce lawyers in New Albany in many other family law matters, including those wishing to adopt by succeeding through private, agency, or international adoption.
Regardless of your needs, we can fashion our boutique of family law services to effectively serve you in Indiana and Kentucky. You are invited to discuss your family law concerns confidentially during a consultation.
The Best Divorce Lawyers in Indiana Are a Phone Call Away
Going through a divorce can be an emotional and stressful experience, and it is made worse by complicated legal matters. Don’t try to walk through it alone. The experienced and compassionate divorce lawyers at McNeely Stephenson will stand beside you and be your advocate as you move through this experience. We are aggressive but also caring, knowing that we are fighting for you and your family’s future wellbeing. If you are looking for a skilled divorce lawyer, contact McNeely Stephenson today at (812) 347-4425 for an initial consultation. We are here for you.