The process of how to get divorced can be different and unique for everyone. There is no “one true way” to uncouple yourself from another person; so, if you’re here looking for a clear direction, this is not the post for you.
However, if you’re interested in thinking through your options and charting your own best course based on the details of your particular situation, then please read these 6 steps on how to get divorced.
Decide How You Want to Handle Your Divorce
After you’ve settled on divorce, the next question you need to answer is how you want to go about it. Consider all of the following:
- Divorce or annulment?
- Is it likely going to be amicable or contentious?
- Do you want to retain mediation services to help resolve disputes and differences?
- Are you both planning to retain legal counsel?
Your answers to these questions will help form the framework for how you and your spouse will proceed. Even if you don’t both retain lawyers, it may not be a bad idea to secure one on your own. You’ll have a resource on standby to assist with questions as they arise and someone who can help make sure there aren’t any gaps or loopholes that have been overlooked.
File Your Divorce Petition
Once you’ve decided how to proceed with legal representation, the process truly begins. If you’ve retained legal counsel, they can advise you on the next steps. If not, you’ll need to visit the local court for more information regarding the divorce process and procedure.
To file, many states will require you to have proof of grounds. For example, if your grounds are based on adultery, you’ll need evidence to prove it. In some states, the findings based on the legal grounds may impact the overall settlement, benefiting one party over another.
Once you’ve filed, your spouse will be required to respond within a designated time frame. Failure to do so may have a negative impact on the overall outcome and may harm their legal standing throughout the proceedings.
Temporary Orders Are Issued
This is how the court addresses who gets to stay in the house, child custody, spousal support, and so on. It is not a final decree, but rather an initial ruling on how the court would like things handled until it can reach a final ruling.
The Divorce’s Discovery Phase Begins
In order to make the best decision possible, the court will require you and your spouse to submit a large quantity of information. This information gathering can be both formal and informal, requiring full documentation, or a simple phone call. It depends entirely on each individual case, but most of it centers around financial aspects and legal grounds.
The Divorce Trial Commences
If and when a case goes to court, both attorneys will present their cases as to why their clients are entitled to certain financial benefits. Arguments for both sides are heard; the evidence is presented, and depositions and testimony are given. If the divorce is contentious, the trial process can drag on for more than a year.
After all the information has been presented, the court issues its final ruling.
Deciding to Appeal Your Divorce Ruling
Based on the outcome, you may want to appeal the court’s decision. Alternately, new information may come to light which you want to be heard in court. The court process then starts all over again until a new ruling is issued or the original ruling is upheld.
What to Do Next?
Still have questions? You don’t have to keep waiting to find answers about how to get divorced. Call (770) 475-2521 to contact the Reeder Law Firm now, and get help.