In America, there is one divorce approximately every 36 seconds*. That’s nearly 2,400 divorces per day, 16,800 divorces per week and 876,000 divorces a year. The average length of a marriage that ends in divorce is eight years. People wait an average of three years after a divorce to remarry.
The average divorce costs $25,000 in legal fees, and if you use a good law firm the costs can up to well over $100,000.
Researchers have found that typical marriages still have about a 50% chance of lasting.
The number of divorces change depending on state, income, age, and other demographical factors. Currently, the number of divorces for Baby Boomers has grown while divorces for individuals within the 25 – 39 age group has gone down according to Pew Research. While that may not seem like a high divorce rate, you can probably attest to the fact that at least half of your friends have gone through or are currently going through a divorce.
Divorce is the way that we legally end marriages in the United States. In most states, the process is called a “no-fault” divorce. This means that the parties will only claim that they can’t get along (irreconcilable differences) and there is no hope for them to work things out (irretrievably broken).
In a few states, there are “fault” divorces. Yet, you don’t necessarily have to prove the other person did something (like abandonment, infidelity, or cruelty). The state won’t force anyone to stay married. Even in “fault” states, there’s usually an option to just claim irreconcilable differences.
How property (real property such as a house or personal property such as a prized collection of Star Trek DVDs) gets divided up during a divorce can include several factors. This includes whether the couple lives in a state that is considered a “community property” state.
When a couple lives in a community property state, it is much more difficult to stop your prized possessions from going to your former spouse unless you can definitively show that you owned that item before you married. Of course, things aren’t always cut and dry when it comes to states that don’t use that concept. The court relies on other factors to try and be fair to both parties.
Debts and other liabilities will also be divided. In some states, it could be that you both split the marital debt (accounts that you both have or used regardless of whose name it was in) and keep your other separate debts (such as your student loans). It could be that you have three cars in your name and your former spouse has none. The court could order you to sign one over to your former spouse. If the car isn’t paid off, the court would order the car to be refinanced into the other person’s name.
Then, there’s the concept of both child support and possible spousal support. Child support is a federal right given to children and it is usually paid to the parent who will have the children the majority of the time. In some divorces, if the parents of the child agree, neither party will pay child support because they both contribute equally to the financial needs of the child. With spousal support (sometimes referred to as alimony or maintenance), there are several factors that the court considers.
As you can see, divorce is the legal process of dissolving the business of marriage. It’s deciding who gets what and what (if anything) is liquidated.
Divorce Can Make Former Partners Do Strange Things
Even a divorce that starts off as non-contested (which means both parties just want a divorce and to move on with life), things can head south in a blink of an eye. The process makes otherwise ordinary, relatively sane people do strange things that seem out of character.
And, apparently, divorce lawyers aren’t immune to the phenomenon of strange behavior…except they’re supposed to act as a wise counselor who looks out for the best interests of their client and any minor children who are involved.
USA Herald Investigates High Powered Divorce Firms – Attorneys Broder & Orland
Not long ago, we brought you a breaking legal news story concerning Broder and Orland, a high powered law firm in Connecticut, and its named partner Carole Topal Orland because it faced a lawsuit from a former employee. During our investigation, we’ve found public divorce records where lawyers from Broder & Orland were accused of violating Rules of Professional Conduct by opposing attorneys.
In this article we are going to delve into the “Divorce Industry” and point out some notable cases we found from Broder & Orland that we believe exemplify some of the fundamental flaws in the system.
Over the last couple of weeks, The USA Herald team spent a lot of time reviewing public records and reading hundreds of pages of divorce complaints, motions, settlement agreements, answers, and cross complaints related to Broder & Orland.
Through the process we found a number of cases where there appeared to be conduct by Broder & Orland that was questionable. This law firm is amongst the highest billing and several cases we’ve discovered had parties that may have been left aggrieved.
USA Herald investigates.
Attorneys Have a Specific Set of Rules to Follow
Attorneys have a specific set of rules to follow. These rules ensure that attorneys act in an ethical manner.
In Paasman v. Paasman, a divorce filed in Superior Court in Connecticut (Case No. FST FA 14-40287), public record shows Plaintiff’s Motion for Contempt: Discovery Order, Pendente Lite. It was filed by Rebecca L. Ciota, a licensed attorney and counsel for the First Plaintiff. The motion was filed in September of 2012.
In paragraph 17 of the Motion, Ms. Ciota alleges that Broder & Orland violated Rule 3.4 of Rules of Professional Conduct. Ms. Ciota quoted several parts of the rule including how it was unlawful to obstruct a party’s access to evidence and fail to be reasonably diligent to comply with a discovery order (remember all of those continuances asked for to produce financial documents?).