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 service clients in both Indiana and Kentucky. Consult with us and we’ll tell you what to expect and how long this should take. We’ll give you the answers you need 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, 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.
Questions to Ask a Divorce Lawyer
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?
When Should You Consult a Floyd County Divorce Attorney?
The time to retain the services of a Floyd County 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.
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.
Keys to Hiring a Divorce Attorney
You should find one 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 who you can trust.
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.
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.
How Long Does a Divorce 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.
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.
If the two of you agree on all the important issues, you can file for a summary dissolution sixty days after the initial petition is filed. There needs to be a written settlement agreement or at least a written statement that there are no disputed issues to be resolved. The judge signs off on the divorce forms and the process is complete.
If there’s a contested divorce (there is at least one important issue the two of you can’t agree on), the process gets much more complex. If you haven’t secured the services of a divorce attorney thus far, at this stage, it may be wise to do so. The judge in your case may appoint a mediator to help you reach a resolution. If this fails, you will go to trial and, barring an appeal of the outcome, the divorce will be final after it concludes.
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.
Factors to Consider During a Divorce
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.
- While Kentucky limits grandparent visitation based on whether the parent is deceased, additionally the grandparent must have provided child support to the grandchild. When adoption occurs, grandparents lose rights of visitation unless the person adopting the child is a stepparent with no termination of parental rights.
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.
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.
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 the 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 they 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.
Continued Legal Support from Our Floyd County Divorce Lawyers
Once a divorce is granted, that’s not necessarily the end of things. As circumstances change, we continue to provide families follow-up legal help if modification of custody, support, or visitation is needed. Our divorce lawyers in Floyd County also help families wishing to adopt, to succeed 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.
Call (812) 347-4425 or contact our divorce lawyers online today to schedule an appointment.