Getting a divorce is painful and confusing, and most people never think of it as a possibility in their lives. However, it happens, and when it does, it’s often a lengthy legal process involving many steps. Even the simplest divorce case can take months to finalize, and things could get even more complicated if you have children.
What Is Divorce?
Divorce is the legal end of a marriage, or in other words, the break-up of a relationship. In nearly all cases, a court will issue an order that will dissolve a marriage. Divorce laws vary from state to state, but most have specific grounds on which a marriage can be dissolved. These grounds often include cruelty, desertion, adultery, and irreconcilable differences.
How Does the Divorce Procedure Work?
Submit the Divorce Petition
Filing for a divorce can be a scary thing, especially since it means that your marriage may be over. But it’s also an important step in letting yourself move on with your life. Before you file for divorce, though, you should understand the process.
Knowing exactly what is involved can better prepare you for the inevitable. As well as this, it could help your petition to move through the divorce court system as quickly as possible. And as it is known to be traumatic, getting it done swiftly will benefit all parties involved.
Think About Hiring a Lawyer
In some situations, such as divorce, it could be very important to your case that you hire a skilled and experienced professional. Hiring a lawyer is one of the first steps you will need to think about if you and your partner wish to end the marriage.
You also need to ensure that a divorce occurs quickly and without either party suffering. But, even if your divorce partner hires a lawyer, it does not mean they will obtain all the assets they are entitled to. The best way to ensure this is to hire one for yourself. It may just be the best thing that you decide to do.
Provide Proof of Service
The process of divorce varies from state to state. Each state has its own laws, procedures, and timelines that must be followed for the divorce process to be finalized. In most cases, spouses or partners will need to file paperwork, which could include a divorce complaint, a petition or summons, or a petition and summons for either temporary or permanent child support. Once these documents have been filed with the court, the other spouse will be served.
Reach an Agreement
Luckily, the process for divorce is relatively uncomplicated, particularly if you are able to reach a mutual agreement. In a court hearing, determining the appropriate division of marital assets is something that happens relatively quickly.
This stage of the divorce procedure is called negotiation, and it’s usually done with the help of a mediator.
If Necessary, Go to Trial
If you need divorce help, it’s important to remember that divorce proceedings, like trials, are a legal process that most couples will be required to experience before the conclusion of their marriage.
Judges and juries make decisions based on evidence that is presented to them, and divorce proceedings are similar. Your lawyer will be able to guide you throughout the entirety of the process, so it can be as stress-free as possible.
Complete the Judgment
After you decide to divorce, there are a few steps you and your soon-to-be-ex have to follow. First, you will file a petition with the court to start the divorce process. After this, you and your ex will be required to attend an uncontested divorce hearing or mediation.
Then, after the judge signs the divorce decree, you and your spouse must sign this judgment for it to be official.
How Long Does the Divorce Process Take?
If you and your spouse are thinking about filing for divorce, you should know the divorce process can take anywhere from 6 months to 2 years. Every state has slightly different laws for how a divorce proceeding should be handled, but in general, the process usually consists of four phases.
Every divorce is different—and every divorce has a timeline. While there’s no way to tell the exact amount of time it will take until you receive your divorce papers, there are a few steps you can take to improve the chances of your divorce being finalized within a timely manner and receiving the best outcome for your case.