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Category Archives: Requirements And Process

Knowing the Divorce Process Benefits You and Your Divorce Lawyers

Divorce-LawsIf you are thinking about filing for divorce or your spouse already has, knowing the divorce process can be very helpful in making the already devastating experience a little easier for you. Each states divorce laws lay out the divorce process and what legal requirements must be met. Even though every state’s laws are different, they all follow a basic guideline. Every divorce has its own unique circumstances that affect and alter the process itself. Legal separation is not an option is all states. States that do not support separation consider you and your spouse to be married until the divorce is finalized by the court. Divorce attorneys will file a petition for a separation agreement if the state you reside in recognizes legal separation.

The first step in the divorce process is filing a petition for divorce. The document itself can be called an Original Petition for Divorce or a Letter of Complaint and is generally filed with a local court clerk. This document requests the court to grant a divorce. Any relief the filing party feels they deserve is also listed along with the parties and children involved. A reason must be stated as to why a divorce is being filed for. The most common reason is irreconcilable differences. This document is served to the non-filing party by the local sheriff’s office and they have thirty days to respond. At this time either spouse may request restraining orders or temporary child support orders.

During the discovery stage, all information about marital assets, alimony, children, and any other matters is collected. Attorneys for each party request specific information by sending a list of items that must be responded to within thirty days. This process is often referred to as disclosures. Interrogatories are a list of questions that may be sent and responded to within thirty days as well. The opposing party must either deny or admit to a list of facts that is often called admissions of fact. Legal documents may be requested such as bank statements. Any document can be requested that your attorney feels will be beneficial. The final part of discovery is called deposition and involves getting sworn testimony from your spouse and all witnesses. Testimonies given during deposition can be used in court if a settlement is not possible.

Mediation is the next step and can be the end of the divorce if you both can come to agreement on all conflicts. Both attorneys and parties meet to go over the conflicts and attempt to reach an agreement that satisfies you both. The case goes to trial if an agreement is not reached. A trial date will be set for divorce court and the arguments will be presented to a judge. The judge examines the evidence and decides the appropriate settlement of all issues. When a decision is reached, each of you will sign a divorce decree stating who gets what assets, custody orders, and the amount of child support or alimony due. The decision can be appealed if you feel the decision was unfair. Lawyers can help with the appeal if you request it.