When a married couple no longer wish to be husband and wife, the marriage can only be legally dissolved through divorce. Otherwise, neither party can legally be married again to another person. While divorce cases vary depending on the people that are involved, there are certain steps that must be taken to become legally divorced according to the law. This is what one can expect to happen when filing for divorce.
Filing A Petition
To begin the divorce proceedings, one party must file a petition to be granted a divorce. In many cases, one of the persons involved may have already moved out of the home and the couple may already be separated. However, even if both parties still live together, a petition can still be filed.
When the petition is filed, one party is requesting that a judge grant them a divorce. The person filing the petition may give a specific reason for wanting a divorce or the reason can simply be stated as irreconcilable differences. This simply means the couple can no longer maintain an agreeable, happy marriage.
The spouse who is filing for divorce will need to put in a request for temporary orders concerning division of property and financial support. If the couple have children together, child custody, child visitation and child support will also need to be included. These orders will be in place until the divorce is completed but can be permanent if the couple agrees.
Service Of Papers And Getting A Response
The filing party will need to show proof that the other party received copies of the petition and temporary orders. This can be done by having the papers served to the other party or hand delivering them in person.
If the other party does not agree with everything on the paperwork, he has the right to respond and state why. If there are no disputes, a separation agreement will need to be signed by both parties.
Negotiations And Trial
If there are issues the couple cannot agree on the matters in the divorce, such as financial support, division of property or child visitation, a meeting between both parties and their attorneys will need to take place to negotiate.
If the negotiations are not successful, the divorce case will have to go to trial for a judge to make the final decisions. However, if the couple is in full agreement, the negotiations and trial can be avoided completely.
Dissolution Of The Marriage
Once all matters of the divorce are completed, the judge will sign the petition for dissolution of the marriage. If there are no children involved and the couple has agreed on everything, a divorce can be completed rather quickly. However, a couple who has children may have to wait several months after filing before the divorce is final.
While a divorce is often a very stressful ordeal to go through, it is always better if both parties can agree on as much as possible during the process. The longer it takes for agreements to be reached, the longer it will take to be finalized and the more money it will cost.
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