The Divorce Process

If you are considering a divorce, you will no doubt want to know how the divorce process will work. It is important to be prepared for the process and know what to expect, and though some states may have different divorce laws, there is a broad outline that most divorces follow.

To begin with, a legal separation is most often the first step, though some states do not have the laws that allow couples to participate in it. If you live in one of those states, you will remain married until the court decides otherwise. However, if your state allows legal separations, then either one or the second spouse will leave the shared residence and the lawyer will begin petitioning the court for a legal separation agreement.

Whether or not this step is performed, the next step involves the beginning of the formal divorce process through a document that is called the original petition for a divorce. These are typically filed with the local court clerk, and though the documents may vary by name, it will begin the process. The documents are formal requests for the court to grant a divorce, along with any reparations that the parties may feel that they are due.

If any children are present, then the original petition will identify the parties and any children that they may have. Reasons for divorce may vary, but can be generalized to irreconcilable differences. Once the petition is processed, it is then served to the respondent. usually, a member of the sheriff’s department will serve the petition, and once the respondent is served, they have thirty days to work with an attorney and respond to the petition. At this stage, the issuer can ask for restraining orders, any protective orders, or any temporary orders that pertain alimony or child support.

Once this is done, the divorce discovery process will commence, which is the legal mechanism that is used to gather information about both parties during the divorce. After statements are taken and research is done, individuals may move forward to a mediation point in the divorce process, which may result in the attorneys meeting together to discuss what conflicts exist and how they can be alleviated. This will usually result in a settlement between both parties.

If the mediation process did not work, however, then both parties will proceed to divorce court. During the trials, the parties will have the chance to present their cases before a judge. It is at this point that collaboration with your attorney is crucial, as it will establish what argument will work best in your favor. After the judge reaches a decision, then the parties
that are involved in the divorce process will have to sign a final decree of their divorce. This decree states that any marital property will not be divided, and any orders that pertain to child custody will be maintained. A divorce appeal process may be possible as well, though if it is not approved, the divorce will go through and the appropriate actions will need to be taken by both parties as decreed by the court.