Child Custody and Parenting Time
To be eligible for applying for divorce online, spouses must agree in advance on parenting responsibilities such as child support and child custody. There are two options for custody: joint and sole. It is also worth noting that the court does not give preference to the mother alone. If a court intervenes, a third party, such as a grandmother or grandfather, can obtain child custody.
The custody decision is made based on:
- the wishes of the child;
- age and gender of children;
- the wishes of the spouses regarding where the child will live;
- living conditions;
- the child's relationship with family members;
- the health of parents and child;
- the child's attachment to home and school;
- the criminal history of any parent or family member; and
- evidence of domestic violence.
Also, spouses should discuss parenting time - who spends time with the child and when. If one of the parents has a criminal record or a high likelihood of violence, the court may order a supervised visit.
The next issue that spouses need to decide to get papers for an uncontested divorce online is marital property division. Marital property refers to real estate, vehicles, retirement beneﬁts, and debts - everything acquired by a couple in marriage.
Why is it better to solve this issue yourself? The court can divide the property fairly, but this does not always mean equally. Also, the court may not consider the spouses’ desire to receive specific assets if it does not correspond to an equal distribution of property.
Factors considered when dividing property:
- property value;
- the spouse’s contribution to the acquisition of the said family property;
- the current age, mental, physical, and emotional well-being of each spouse;
- the general financial situation of the spouses;
- duration of the marriage;
- wedding or prenuptial agreement;
- conditions of custody of children;
The property that one of the spouses acquired before the wedding and gifts and inheritance received is not divided between the spouses since it is not joint property.
Another reason to agree on the division of property is to facilitate litigation and reduce divorce costs. Each new court session increases the period until the court order is issued and increases the lawyer's bill.
Spousal support or alimony is optional. But if one of the spouses needs financial support, they can ask the court to award them compensation from the higher-earning spouse. Spousal support is temporary, short-term, and permanent.
When awarding alimony, the following factors are considered:
- the spouse's performance;
- the length of the marriage;
- financial capabilities of the spouse;
- division of family property;
- the health of both spouses; and
- if the divorce is no-fault.
File for Divorce Online
When the main issues of divorce have been resolved, spouses can proceed to fill out the papers. The online divorce process includes answering a questionnaire by the plaintiff and paying for the service. The survey usually takes no more than a couple of hours, but it’s always possible to take a break, save the progress, and return to filling out the papers when there is time.
After a petitioner sends answers to the system, it will take no more than two business days to process them and prepare the necessary forms. After that, they can download the documents with instructions for further actions.
The questionnaire includes residency, grounds for divorce, and peculiarities of the marriage. Depending on the state, residency requirements can range from six weeks to 12 months. Therefore, before applying for divorce online, it is worth clarifying this point not to waste money.
There are two types of grounds for divorce: fault and no-fault. If a petitioner wants to indicate that the divorce is due to the fault of the other spouse, they have to be prepared to provide evidence of guilt in court. It will also complicate the litigation.
Grounds for divorce with no-fault:
- separation for a long time (each state has its requirements in this regard);
- irreconcilable differences that spouses can not resolve.
The most common grounds for a fault divorce include:
- deliberate cruelty; and
- alcoholism or drug addiction.