Filing For Divorce

There comes a point in some marriages when the husband or wife want to end the union. While there are many different and legitimate reasons for the decision, that person feels that the marriage has ended and wants to file for divorce. Not surprisingly, most people in this situation do not know how to file for divorce.

Before beginning the divorce process, the partner filing for termination of a marriage needs to consider several points and act on them according to experts:

A divorce is best resolved through an amicable settlement between the couple. It has been noted that 95% of divorces are settled without going through a trial. A mediated divorce settlement is recognized as one of the best ways to reconcile differences and avoid a lengthy trial in which a judge makes the decisions.

The person filing for the divorce needs to determine his or her goals for the outcome by making informed decisions about how and where to file, finding an attorney and deciding whether to seek mediation or consider collaborative law in reaching a settlement.

How To Write Your Divorce Mission Statement

Writing a Divorce Mission Statement has been noted as an excellent way to determine the desired outcome and establish priorities. This is an important step when children are involved.

Some divorce petitioners decide to represent themselves. This is typically a bad idea unless the person knows how to behave in a court room. It is wiser to find an experienced divorce attorney for representation. A good divorce lawyer can be a valuable resource in deciding how to proceed with special issues and crafting a good settlement.

Recognize that a thoughtfully written settlement takes time, patience and understanding to negotiate because the final document will last for a long time.

Understand that a trial will result in a judge making the final decisions. A settlement, on the other hand, is composed by the divorcing parties’ and represents their decisions.

It is also important to understand that while divorce laws vary from state to state, there are common elements to most state laws. The first consideration is the length of time a couple must have been living apart before divorce papers can be filed. In most states the separation, or cooling off, period is six months to one year. There are exceptions in a few states that are as low as one week or no time at all.

Residency is another consideration. Each state requires the the person filing for divorce must have a permanent domicile in that state and have resided in the state for a specified period of time. Some jurisdictions also have local domicile and residency requirements. Military members are generally permitted to file in the state where they are stationed.

The primary document in filing for divorce is a complaint or petition, depending on the terminology used by the state where filed. This document formally requests that the court terminate the marriage. States require that the spouse filing the petition must give the other person in the marriage notice that he or she is filing for divorce.

Divorce is a stressful and often painful experience. The person filing for divorce needs to remember that as difficult as it may be, once the divorce is finalized, it is over. Life does get better.