What the Divorce Process Actually
Looks Like in Practice
The divorce rate hasn't been as low as it is today in about 50 years. That doesn't mean that couples aren't getting divorced anymore but it does mean that divorced couples know fewer people who have been through the process, themselves.
If you don't know anyone who has gone through the divorce process, who can you turn to for advice? How can you find out what to expect?
We're here to help. Our brief guide will walk you through the process of filing for a divorce, settling, or going to trial.
Read on for a quick but helpful guide to the divorce process.
Filing for Divorce
To get a divorce started, you will begin by filing a divorce petition with your local court. Each state requires different levels of proof or information regarding why you are filing for divorce, and it helps to work with a divorce lawyer. You may also need to file for temporary court orders granting things like custody or child support before you've reached a settlement.
The party who files the petition will also have to provide something called proof of service. This means that you must prove that you've let your spouse know that you've filed for divorce, a process referred to as "serving" the divorce papers.
Reaching a Settlement
Now, it is time to reach a settlement regarding things like custody, alimony, and dividing up shared assets. The settlement process is over fastest when both parties already agree on these matters, but it tends to require at least some negotiation.
During the settlement process, both you and your former spouse are entitled (and encouraged) to bring a divorce lawyer. The court will typically schedule a time for your settlement and may also assign a mediator.
Bringing Your Divorce Case to Trial
What if you can't decide who gets the house in divorce or how to split custody? What if you can't reach an agreement regarding alimony or child support? If a settlement cannot be reached outside of court, the court must step in.
It is not ideal to have to go to court during the divorce process. This means it will take longer and cost more money to reach an agreement. Each party will have to provide evidence, testimony, and witnesses to establish why they deserve the settlement they're asking for.
Whenever possible, seek further mediation to settle outside of court rather than prolonging your divorce case and racking up legal fees.
Get Prepared for the Divorce Process
The divorce rate may be on the decline, but it's never going to reach 0%. There are still many people like yourself who need to know what to expect from the divorce process. The most important thing to keep in mind is that an out-of-court settlement is almost always ideal.
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