What Do I Have to Do to Get the Divorce Process Started?

If you feel that your issues cannot be resolved and that everyone would be happier if you and your spouse divorced, then it is time to start the divorce process.  

Get the Divorce Process Started

If you feel like you are on the brink of divorce, you certainly are not alone.  Current statistics show that 50% of all marriages in the United States end in divorce.  If you did not rush into your marriage, you should take time to contemplate whether to end it. Do you feel that your marital problems are significant and have been occurring for a long time?  Have you tried marriage counseling?  Have you weighed the pros and cons in consideration of your children or other family members?  If you feel that your issues cannot be resolved and that everyone would be happier if you and your spouse divorced, then it is time to start the divorce process.

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Consult With A Qualified Divorce Lawyer

The first thing to do is to contact an experienced and qualified divorce lawyer.  Even if you are not 100% sure whether you want to end your marriage, it is wise to speak with a family law attorney.  Even just an initial consultation with a family lawyer can prove helpful.   They can help answer your questions and advise you on possible solutions and outcomes for your situation.  An initial consultation is risk-free and can give you direction and peace of mind.

For contentious divorces, an attorney can be necessary.  If your soon-to-be-ex is being difficult, they can completely refuse to speak or cooperate.  If counsel represents you, then you will have a person speaking for you, so you do not have to deal with your ex.  Conflicts arise even in amicable divorces, so it is best to speak with an attorney and lay all your cards on the table.

A top divorce lawyer explains that the most contentious issues in divorce include child custody and support, in addition to financial issues, like dividing assets and alimony.  Emotions can run high when issues like children and money are involved and can cloud judgment.  When you have a divorce attorney, they will advocate for you but will not have any personal emotions involved in the case. They can provide calmness and clarity to negotiations.

Divorce can be scary.  Not only are you breaking away from the life you know, but court procedures and divorce laws are complicated.  However, a qualified divorce attorney can take care of the paperwork and logistics so you can focus on yourself and your family.

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File the Divorce Paperwork

Next, you will need to file a divorce petition with the court to give notice that you want a divorce.  Depending on your state, this could also be called a divorce complaint. The document will have pertinent information, such as the names of the parties, the date of separation, and other basic information regarding your marriage.  You will also have to state the legal ground, or reason, for your divorce.  Some states allow “fault-based” divorces for reasons such as adultery.  These divorces will generally be more contentious, as you will have to go to court and prove the fault.

However, most divorce petitions are due to “irreconcilable differences,” which are considered “no-fault” grounds.  The petition will have to be filed in your county court, along with the filing fee.  You are then required to serve your spouse with the divorce petition, and they will be given a certain amount of time to respond.  You will then be given time to respond to their answer, and then a court date will be set.

Close One Door and Open Another

The divorce process can be painful and nerve-wracking.  However, after you take the first step, you will feel a weight lifted off your shoulders. Once the divorce process is done and you happen to settle properties, don’t hesitate to seek help from a reputable family lawyer. The team at Dorter Family Lawyers & Mediators can provide you with the guidance and support you need to navigate the process successfully. With their help, you can start your new beginning with confidence and peace of mind.