- Step 1: Preparatory Phase
- Step 2: Filing a Petition
- Step 3: Working With a Response
- Step 4: Final Actions
Main Steps of the Divorce Process
Going through a divorce process can be rather complicated and stressful both psychologically and juridically. Sometimes all these formalities seem too complex. We’ve made a description of this process with all steps explained in detail. May our guide help you to go through this quite hard-hitting deal faster, easier, and cheaper.
Step 1: Preparatory Phase
Research on your case will simplify a process strongly. Before starting legal actions, you can:
- Detect all the special aspects of your marriage that affect the procedure. It includes the housing, property, and child custody questions.
- Find out the features of the procedure in your state.
- Collect the required financial and other essential reports. The full list for your county is available on your state court website in the «divorce forms» section.
Also, understand how the division of assets would work in your case and find out which parts are called Separate and which are Marital. The first kind includes any properties owned before the marriage by both partners, a personally received inheritance, both before and after the marriage, gifts received by one of the partners, compensation after a personal injury judgment.
Marital property includes all the other properties that were gained during the marriage: pension plans, insurances, real estate, means of transport, pieces of art & antique, etc. We advise discussing all the unclear parts with your divorce attorney. After you’ve got these informal things done, you’ll act competently during the process.
Step 2: Filing a Petition
The case starts with writing a divorce petition by the first spouse. It must include information about marital partners, their joint (common) children, the community & separate property, and other important marriage data.
The next step after writing a petition is serving it to the second spouse. In an ideal situation, the consignee must just confirm the acknowledgment after you deliver a petition personally. Another variant is to send the report by mail with well-operated confirmation and tracking services.
You’ll receive a notification when the addressee gets the letter. In situations when the second spouse refuses to sign or cannot be located, you must get a process-server’s assistance to deliver the documents and acknowledge the second side formally. If your spouse is in another country at the moment, they don’t have to present at every step. The documents will be sent abroad to get all the required signs.
When the service of process is finished, spouses are not allowed to:
- borrow against the property;
- take their children out of the state;
- selling and borrowing insurances of another spouse;
- sell any property.
Step 3: Working With a Response
The second spouse is called ‘a respondent’. Filing a response means that both sides are agreed with the conditions of divorce and don’t have any counter-arguments. Yet, a response is used to negotiate about the conditions and to change them if needed.
If the response is not provided in 30 days, a petitioner is likely to request a court hearing. Take into account that judicial involvement makes the handling longer and more expensive. When all the conditions are discussed and set, the case is ready to finish. This stage has significant details too. Both sides are obliged to provide their financial data. It includes incomes, liabilities, expenses, debt showing reports, etc.
If both sides are agreed, there are only a few basic papers left to sign. If there are controversies, then hearings or trials will proceed to solve them. The whole thing is finished after a judicial decision. Congratulate yourself on going through such a stressful and complicated action.
Hiring a Lawyer to Complete a Divorce
Firstly, law assistance may seem unneeded in the uncontested divorce suit. Actually, the case is complicated more than it looks like. While reading this article, you’ve seen the number of documents required to complete. Hiring a lawyer is a great solution to feel free from bothering paperwork. It saves you a lot of free time. Also, hiring an attorney is essential if:
- the second side is working with a lawyer, so you must involve one on your side;
- there are assets and other circumstances you don’t know how to deal with;
- suspecting your mate in hiding property;
- feeling legally inexperienced working with documents by yourself.
Another assistant you may work with is a service-of-process-agent. It is a legal expert who receives lawsuits on your behalf. This service is needed rarely, but with a huge amount of documentation, it turns out to be helpful.
This is how the divorce file proceeds. Now you know all the steps and detect possible difficulties to solve them simply. Such a procedure is common to be stressful, but it shouldn’t be overly complicated juridically now. Read our useful articles in the blog to discover helpful information about legal actions and tips on dealing with complicated situations. With us, there is no case to confuse you.