Divorce isn’t something anyone goes into marriage expecting, but it happens in many marriages. The reason you are interested in a dissolving your marriage is irrelevant when it comes down to making the final decision, but many people divorce for various reasons.
– Financial reasons
– Irreconcilable differences
These are just a few of the many common reasons to end your marriage. If your marriage is ending for one of these reasons or for another reason entirely, you need to know what happens next. The first step in any divorce is filing. You cannot obtain a divorce until you file legal documents with the court asking to dissolve your marriage. It’s often a lengthy process, but it’s not as complicated as many people assume.
Understand State Laws
Divorce laws in every state are different. The first thing to do is familiarize yourself with the laws and what they mean. You want to know what you’re entitled to, what you might have to share with your spouse, what you can do about the kids, and how you handle your assets. Any other questions you have regarding divorce in your state are easily answered by divorce attorneys. You also need to know if you are eligible to file for divorce where you live. Certain states require you live there a certain amount of time, and many counties have the same requirements.
Filing Divorce Papers
Once you know what the law entails in your state, it’s time to file paperwork for divorce. You’ll want to visit the Clerk of Court’s office in the county where it’s legal for you to divorce. For example, if you live in a state that requires you live there for six months before you file for divorce and you’ve lived there three months, you’ll need to go to the state and county you lived prior to that.
Once you get to the Clerk of Court’s office, you will speak to the clerk. You simply ask for divorce paperwork, and he or she hands it to you. Divorce filing fees are different in every state, but the paperwork is free to take home. In some states, you can find divorce papers online. Once it’s time to file with the clerk, you’ll hand over your paperwork to the clerk, pay any applicable fee, and wait for the divorce papers to go through.
This form is the most important, because it’s the one that begins the divorce process. It’s typically referred to as a petition, and it requires you fill out all your personal information, your spouse’s personal information, and the reason you want to divorce your spouse. Once the clerk has time to file the paperwork, he or she will serve the divorce filing to your spouse.
This is by a third party, or a process server as they are sometimes called. Your spouse receives paperwork stating you want a divorce, and he or she is then required to either respond to the filing or accept it. If you want to divorce a spouse that has disappeared so he or she can get on with life, a divorce petition by publication is served. You need only wait a certain amount of time before you are able to see your divorce through.
Once you file the appropriate paperwork required in your county and/or state, you must meet the remaining requirements. Some states require couples wait a certain number of months before the case is actually put into motion so couples have time to reconcile or work through their differences. Not all states require this, but some do.
Speaking to an attorney about your impending divorce is recommended. You can divorce him or her on your own, but legal advice is always welcome when it comes to something this serious. Consider your divorce a business deal, and take it seriously. Divorce is not the easy road out, and it’s a big decision to make. Once you make it, call your attorney or visit the local Clerk of Court so you can begin the process using the correct manner.