Divorce can be a very difficult for the parties involved. However, if you must go through with it, first thing you will need is a divorce lawyer who will represent and negotiate for you. After that, it’s all about the process. This article will give an overview of the divorce process.
Petition for divorce – this is the first step of the divorce process. The law indicates that only a spouse can file a divorce even if both parties agree to go through the divorce process.
Service of process – this step is done by the spouse after she filed a petition for divorce. She must present the petition to the husband, and the husband must sign and acknowledge the petition.
Petition response – this part is done by the opposing spouse, the one who did not do file the petition. At this stage, divorce related issues are also presented such as spousal supports, child custody, division of assets, child support and many other issues. For couples with minor children, at this stage, you can file for temporary order of child custody and child support if the two parties cannot agree on a custody plan for the children.
Financial information gathering – at this stage, all the necessary financial items are gathered such as business documents, retirement accounts, bank statements and tax returns to name a few. This information is needed with regards for asset division.
Property division discussion – the actual asset division does not happen at this stage. However, discussion of property division at this early stage is typically a good idea to help smoothen the divorce process.
Negotiation – at this stage, both parties negotiate for asset division. If both parties are not heated, this stage typically goes smoothly, especially if they have already done the property division discussion. In case the two parties are heated, this stage is typically settled with mediation.
Trial – This stage only happens if the two parties fail to negotiate successfully when it comes to marriage related issues. A family court judge usually overseas the hearing and will be the one who makes the decisions.
Decree of Dissolution – this is the final step of the divorce process. It is in this stage that a final document is finalized that encompasses the whole terms of the divorce agreement. It is also the final document that states that both of you are legally divorced.
Timetable of the whole process varies a lot from case to case. Some would go for a few months to years.