No matter what your circumstances, filing for divorce involves a significant amount of uncertainty. You may be committed to ending the marriage, but the process itself is a mystery. What you’ve seen on television or movies or even what you’ve heard from friends or relatives is unlikely to come close to the reality of the experience. Getting divorced is a detail-oriented, document-heavy process. The more you know what to expect, the less stressful it will be.

The first thing that a person considering divorce should do is to seek legal guidance. Your initial consultation with a lawyer will answer many of your questions about what you can anticipate going forward. Scheduling an appointment with an individual attorney does not commit you to the divorce, or even to using that lawyer or law firm, but will be invaluable to helping you understand what to expect. To help the attorney assess your situation, make sure that you bring all pertinent documents and collect the information that they will need, including the date of your marriage, your address and other specifics including birth dates and Social Security numbers, whether you have already separated, information about assets, children, tax forms, and any agreements signed before or after the marriage.

Once all of this information has been gathered and you make the decision to move forward, the steps to divorce begin with filing a divorce petition. Even if you and your spouse have mutually agreed to end the marriage, one of you must file this paperwork asking the court for a divorce. The petition will include the reasons for the divorce, as well as demographic information affirming that you have filed the paperwork appropriately. You will also need to provide a copy of this paperwork to your spouse with proof of service so that the court knows that you have fulfilled this responsibility. Your spouse will need to respond within a certain amount of time, which differs based upon your state.

Following the filing, the courts may impose a waiting period. While this time passes, you can request temporary orders having to do with child support, spousal support or custody if appropriate, as well as property restraining orders or status quo orders requesting the continued payment of marital debts throughout the process. This may be negotiated between you and your spouse or you may need to go to court for a hearing.

The information provided here is a rudimentary guide to the beginning of the divorce process To learn more about what to expect upon filing for a divorce, contact our compassionate attorneys today.

 

 

 

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