The process of obtaining a divorce has a variety of steps. The number and level of work involved in each of these steps will depend on your unique situation and all the factors that are involved in your divorce. A divorce where the couple has not been married for long and have no children with minimal property to be divided up, will be much easier than a divorce between a couple that has been married for 20 years, has minor children, and a lot of shared property that has to be divvied up. The process of a divorce is also often easier and faster when both parties agree to the divorce. If one party is surprised by the divorce request or feels they are being taken advantage of by the other party then things can drag out and get really messy. If the couple is bogged down with a lot of arguing and fighting then things will take a lot longer and be a lot more painful than if they agree to the terms and are willing to work together to get things done. Here are some more details you need to know about the process of a divorce:
Filing a petition
The first step every couple takes in the divorce process is filling out the paperwork to petition for the nullification of the marriage. Even where both spouses agree on the divorce there is one member who has to start the process and serve the other the petition for the divorce. The petition will state any reasons presented for the divorce. The two basic reasons for a divorce are non-fault issues such as relationship issues that cannot be reconciled or fault-based issues such as abuse or adultery. The divorce lawyer you work with can tell you what options are best for your situation and needs and what would be the best for your divorce hearing. The process of a divorce starts here but it is far from over.
If one spouse does not have a source of income and relies on the other for their full financial support or they are going to be the ones with primary custody of any minors, the court can be petitioned for temporary orders for support and custody. For example, when a couple divorces and the mom has been a stay at home mom with no income, she is dependent on her husband for all her financial needs. The temporary order will cover her expenses so she can live and take care of the children while the divorce is being processed. A temporary order typically will be granted a few days after the appeal is made and will remain in effect until the final ruling of the divorce is made. The temporary support appeal needs to be filed as soon as possible so there is minimal chance of the parent not having the financial means to survive until the order comes through.
Service of Process
The process of a divorce can be confusing but your divorce attorney can help you navigate all the steps and take care of everything that needs to be done. They can also explain the service of process. The party who made the initial filing for the divorce also will be required to file what is known as proof of service of process. This simply is proof that the petition for the divorce was sent to and received by the other spouse. Service of process can be either very dignified or very undignified or anywhere in between. A dignified filing would be to meet at one of the party’s attorney’s office to sign the papers and get them filed. An undignified filing would be to serve the papers to the spouse’s place of employment. It is often during the process of a divorce that feelings are fresh and hurts are brought to the front so even in a mutual divorce, feelings can come into play and things may get a little dicey at times but that is where your attorney can help to mediate things and keep things flowing and progressing as best as possible.
The party who got the notice of the divorce is the one who will now need to file a response to notify the courts of whether or not they agree with the terms of the divorce and agree to file for divorce. If a divorce is listed as being based on fault charges then the responding party can dispute those grounds, and state their reason for doing so in their response. The responding party may choose to either file in agreement or to dispute anything in the papers- reasons for the divorce, terms of the divorce, or anything else the other party included that they feel is unfair or unjust.
If there is a disagreement about the terms each party has the chance to present their case for the changes they want to be made. The court can make rulings about how property is divided and any disagreements about child custody will often involve a court ruling based on a review from a social worker. Other issues that commonly need to be negotiated involve property division, spousal support, and debt responsibilities. The process of a divorce will cover every aspect of the marriage and any mutual responsibilities that need to be addressed during the proceedings.
Any issues that simply cannot be agreed upon by the divorcing couple will need to be heard at a divorce trial. However, going to trial takes longer, is more costly, and is much more involved, so it always best if agreements can be made between the couple and their attorneys without appearing before a judge.
Order of Dissolution
The order of dissolution is the ultimate goal of a divorce as this is what officially and legally ends the marriage. The process of a divorce culminates with this document. It is this official documentation that spells out all the details of the divorce and outlines how all assets are to be divided up and who shares what responsibility of custody, child support, and debts. When the parties negotiate the terms on their own with their attorneys they will draft up their own order of dissolution and their attorney will review it and then submit it to the court for approval. If everything is legally acceptable and agreed upon by the parties involved the order will be processed and the marriage will be officially terminated and the divorce finalized.
Contact Grunyk Law Today
If you are about to go through a divorce, it is important that you talk to a divorce attorney as soon as possible so you know what your options are. Not all divorces are messy and painful and drawn-out but some are, so be prepared and give us a call here at Grunyk Law with any questions you may have. Call us today to set up your free divorce review and consultation. We can help make the process of a divorce easier for everyone involved!