A Guide on All the Steps to Getting a Divorce
Deciding to get a divorce is never an easy decision.
You aren’t alone, though. 40% to 50% of all marriages will end with a divorce.
If you don’t know what to expect, then the process can end up being even more stressful. If you don’t know the steps to getting a divorce, this post has you covered.
Follow the steps below to get through the entire process.
1. File a Petition
The first step in getting a divorce is filing a petition with your local court. Even if the divorce is agreed upon by both people, one person needs to be the one who files the paperwork.
A divorce petition will identify all parties involved with the case and the grounds for the divorce. Even if there is nobody at fault, you still have to have your divorce reason stated. It can be as simple as irreconcilable differences.
2. Serve the Petition
Once you file the petition for divorce, you need to serve it to your spouse. This step is required because the other party needs to formally respond to the petition for the process to move forward.
They will usually have up to 30 days to respond. If your petition doesn’t get a response, then a court can approve everything in the petition automatically.
3. Receive Temporary Orders
Once the petition is out of the way, a judge will decide what needs to happen while the divorce is underway. This can include things like spousal support, child custody, and child support.
If you don’t comply with the judge’s orders, then you may be found in contempt of court.
4. Discovery Process
The discovery process is meant to discover all the facts about the divorce case. This is the time to get all your information in order.
You will need to produce all your assets, finances, and other documents required to proceed with the case.
5. Mediation and Trial
Once you establish all the facts, mediation will begin. This time is used to divide assets and come to an agreement.
If you can’t reach an agreement with your spouse, you could end up in the courtroom. You will need to find a good divorce lawyer to work your case so you can get the results you’re looking for.
6. Order of Dissolution
After you finalize all the details of your divorce, you will need an order of dissolution. This order will layout how debts are split, child custody is handled, and how property is split.
If you go through this process with mediation, both parties to the divorce will come up with the order. If you end up in the courtroom, the court will do this for you.
Steps to Getting a Divorce: Final Thoughts
Going through a divorce for the first time can be overwhelming. The good news is, there are steps to getting a divorce that you can follow to make it through the process. Make sure you learn them so you can get everything you want out of the process.
If you need to get a lawyer for the divorce process, you need to know how to find a good one. Head over to our legal section to find tips on finding a good lawyer.