Infidelity, financial issues, growing apart. All these things have been cited as reasons for divorce. It appears a new reason might be emerging – video games. The video game Fortnite is now being cited as the reason for 200 people’s divorces in the UK.
Video Game Cited as Reason for Divorce
According to a newly released report from UK site Divorce Online, 200 divorce petitions filed in the UK since the start of 2018 cited Fortnite as a reason for the separation.
“These numbers equate to roughly 5% of the 4,665 petitions we have handled since the beginning of the year and as one of the largest filers of divorce petitions in the UK, is a pretty good indicator,” said a Divorce Online spokesperson.
Though it’s unclear how Fortnite contributed to the divorce filings specifically, it’s not uncommon for people to cite other time-consuming things such as drugs, alcohol, gambling, and even social media. Fortnite is a survival sandbox game that is free to download. More than 40 million people log in to play every month, which might be enough of a statistic to prove just how addictive, and potentially damaging to your relationship, the game can be.
What Divorce Means for You
According to statistics, nearly 50% of marriages in the United States end in divorce, or a dissolution of marriage, and whether your divorce is uncontested or contested – meaning you and your spouse disagree on one or more issues – it’s important to fight for what is rightfully yours once the marriage ends. A failed marriage can be emotionally and financially draining and taking the right steps at the start of a divorce can help you protect your own interests, your children and your finances. Divorces are always easier to get through when both parties make a good faith effort to work together to reach an amicable solution to any potential disagreements, but, sadly, this is rarely the case in today’s divorce proceedings. Because of this fact, hiring an attorney with experience handling California divorce cases should be your first step when considering divorce or after you have been served divorce papers.
Our legal team at Divorce Lawyers Los Angeles understands that not all marriages work out and that, regardless of the reason for the divorce, it is a difficult situation for both parties, deserving of compassion, honesty and personal attention, especially when the divorce is contested. The most highly-contested issues that may arise in California divorce cases include:
Marital Property Division – California is a community property state, which means that the debts and assets a couple acquires in marriage belong to both spouses equally and must therefore be divided equally in divorce. However, this does not include either spouse’s separate property, which may include gifts, inheritances or property that the spouse owned prior to the marriage.
High Net-Worth Divorce – Divorce proceedings become considerably more complicated when substantial property and assets are involved. This may include investment accounts, ownership rights to a business, or multiple pieces of real estate.
Spousal Support – Because California is a no-fault divorce state (described in detail below), proof of misconduct has no bearing on the judge’s decision to grant the divorce, but it can be relevant to the calculation of spousal support.
Child Support – Like all states, California requires parents to continue to support their children, even after divorce. Under California law, both parents have an equal duty to provide for their child until he or she reaches 19 years of age, and each parent is expected to contribute according to his or her ability.
Child Custody and Visitation – The presumption in most divorce cases is that it is in the best interest of the child to have continuing contact with both parents following a divorce. However, if the parents can’t agree on a parenting plan, the court will decide how they will share time with their children. If one parent is granted sole legal custody of a child in divorce proceedings, that parent holds the exclusive responsibility for making decisions related to the child’s education, health and welfare, though visitation rights may be granted to the other parent.
If you disagree on how your marital assets or debts should be divided, or if you aren’t happy with your child custody and visitation arrangements, an experienced Los Angeles divorce lawyer can provide a fast and fair resolution to these important legal issues.
How to File for Divorce in California
California is a no-fault divorce state, which means that either party in a marriage has the right to file for divorce for no other reason than “irreconcilable differences,” and property settlements in CA divorce cases are not influenced by the behavior of either spouse, although child custody and visitation rights can be. Under California Family Code § 2320, in order for a judge to grant a divorce in California, one of the spouses must have been a resident of the state for six months, and in most cases, the individual seeking divorce must file in his or her county of residence, where he or she must have lived for at least three months. Once the divorce papers have been filed, California law dictates that the filing party must wait at least six months from the date the other spouse received the paperwork before the divorce can be finalized.
Steps to Filing Divorce
The first step in filing a divorce is to contact a skilled divorce lawyer that can walk you through the steps of the process. There are 10 basic steps in every divorce:
• Preparing to file
• Serving Divorce Papers
• Responding to the Divorce
• Temporary Orders
• Financial Disclosures
• Post-Judgment Issues
Not all divorce cases in California go to court. In some cases, couples can resolve their divorce disputes through negotiation or mediation, during which an attorney can make sure your best interests are being represented. Too often, couples filing for divorce believe they can handle the proceedings on their own and end up making a bigger mess of their situation than they started with. While we do encourage spouses filing for divorce to reach an agreement outside of court and try to avoid divorce litigation altogether, especially when children are involved, our experienced Los Angeles divorce attorneys can assist with every aspect of the divorce process and will aggressively represent your case before a judge if it comes to that. Whatever the circumstances surrounding your case, we still stand by your side and ensure that your legal rights are protected throughout the process.
Preparing to File
It’s always a good idea plan for your divorce. Once you have decided to follow through, you’ll want to work with a divorce lawyer. Your legal team should help you prepare to file. Here are some steps we recommend you take before filing:
1. Copy All Important Documents.
Divorce requires a lot of paperwork. You’ll want to locate and make copies of all documents related to your assets, debts, income, and expenses: tax returns, bank account statements, retirement account statements, life insurance policies, mortgage statements, auto insurance policies, credit card statements, and paycheck stubs. Create digital copies of these documents and upload them to the cloud using a new random password-protected file. In addition to financial documents, you may want to consider copying family photographs, home videos, and other sentimental items.
2. Remove Personal Items.
Gather up your Social Security Card, medical insurance information, birth certificate, passport, and other personal documents and place them in a safe place. So many times families mix these documents up – they get shuffled into random areas and mixed in with other things. Make sure you have everything located.
3. Change Passwords.
Protect your confidentiality and change all of the passwords to your personal accounts, including cell phone, email, computer, social media, and iCloud accounts. Make sure you select a password that your spouse cannot guess.
4. Inventory Household Items.
You might need to be sneaky about this and do this when your spouse is not in the home. Use your phone to record a video of the contents in your home. Slowly walk through each room and describe the items as you record. Don’t forget about the items in your home safe.
5. Protect and Access Credit.
You must check your credit report before you begin the divorce process. It’s imperative that you know what debts exist and what your credit report looks like so that you can properly plan your financial future. If possible, you may want to open a new credit card solely in your name so that you can have access to emergency funds.
Your attorney should be able to advise you on any other issues or questions you might have. You’ll want to discuss everything with your legal team before you file.
Free Divorce Consultation in Los Angles
Divorce proceedings are not always simple and straightforward, especially when children are involved. In many cases, the consequences of a divorce can affect a person for the rest of his or her life, possibly resulting in a significant loss of financial support or reduced child visitation rights. A qualified divorce attorney however, can help you navigate the complex intricacies of family law and can negotiate the best settlement on your behalf. For more information about California divorce law and the divorce process, contact Divorce Lawyers Los Angeles for a risk-free initial consultation. Our main goal as divorce attorneys is to help you evaluate your options under California law and make informed decisions that protect your interests and legal rights. Don’t wait to get help, call our Los Angeles legal team today at (213) 550-4600.
Divorce Lawyers Los Angeles
5455 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Phone: (213) 550-4600