You haven’t broken up yet, or broke up only recently. This is good, because the earlier you start, the easier it is to heal wounds and lay a foundation for a smoother trip. The way you go about doing things now will have a powerful influence on how things work out in your future—for better or worse.
If your spouse won’t come to court to oppose you, you’ve got an easy case. It could be that he/she is long gone, doesn’t care, or there’s not enough involved to struggle over, or because you two can work out the terms of your divorce in a written agreement. In easy cases, all that’s left is to file papers and go through some red-tape to get a judgment or decree of divorce and this shouldn’t take long or cost a lot.
This profile fits most divorces. Your spouse is in the picture and cares about how things will end up, but you’re having some trouble (or you expect to) with discussing and settling terms—that is, you can’t agree on how to divide property and debts, how much spousal support will be paid, if any, and how children will be supported and parented. The reason divorce agreements are difficult is almost always personal—bad communication, bad history, bad habits, etc—and almost never about the law. Neither the law nor lawyers have any tools to help you settle problems that originate in your personal relationship. You do not want to try to settle your disagreements in court.
If you follow my advice you probably won’t end up in a legal battle, but sometimes you simply can’t avoid one or you might be in one already. If you’re already in a legal battle, or if you can’t avoid a battle even after following the steps in Make Any Divorce Better, then you have to do what you have to do—get an attorney and fight. If you must fight, you might as well learn how to do it effectively, so welcome to the Battle Group.
DV includes physical attacks, threats, intimidation, verbal attacks on a personal level (put-downs, insults, undermining your self-confidence) and other efforts to control you. It can be difficult to distinguish between high levels of divorce conflict and forms of domestic abuse and violence. The DV profile is more about cases where your spouse has been an habitual controller/abuser over a period of time.