Going through a divorce is never easy, but the process is pretty straightforward. State law outlines a step-by-step process, which must be followed in all divorce cases. Outlined below is an overview of how the process works.
Filing The Petition
The step into the unknown. We file legal papers in court saying what the action includes: the parties, divorce or legal separation, support and custody of children, your home, retirement assets, etc.
Serving The Subpoena
Take care of yourself. It’s best to tell your spouse you filed for divorce before a stranger hands them the subpoena. Surprise attack is never a good strategy. It can lead to explosive violence. If so, call the police.
Reality sets in. Your spouse has 30 days to file an answer to the petition. They may hire a lawyer to represent them. Their response will tell us whether they agree or disagree with what you said in your petition.
In between the end and beginning. If not already decided between the spouses, we will ask the judge for temporary orders to maintain the status quo while the divorce is proceeding. Housing, custody of kids and bill paying.
Trial Or Settlement
Getting to the beginning of the end. Spouses often settle their differences going forward. This is the best route for their children. A written agreement is signed and filed with the court. If a trial is needed, the judge decides.
After The Judgment
The end of the rainbow. The parties work together to make the judgment a reality. Deeds are signed, retirement assets are divided, child visitation schedules begin, and child and spousal support are paid or withheld.