Many things can happen that cause a marriage to dissolve and necessitate a divorce. However, the process of obtaining a divorce can seem complicated and often involves a lot of emotions. If you take the time to research and understand the legal aspects of divorce, you may feel more confident. Thorough preparation can also help the process resolve as smoothly and quickly as possible.
Requirements for filing for divorce can be significantly different based on the state or county you live in. Generally, you will need to prepare legal paperwork, often called a complaint or petition for divorce. While you are in the initial stage of the process, it's a good idea to write down your reasons for wanting a divorce and outline your requests relating to child custody and division of financial and personal assets.
You can choose to work with an attorney who specializes in this area of family law. A legal expert can help ensure you reach a settlement that is in your best interests, the children’s best interests, and agreeable for both parties. If you feel it's time to initiate a divorce, the first step is to go online and search for divorce lawyers near me to get a list of local attorneys who can guide you through the process.
The first official step in a divorce is filing your complaint or petition with the court. Your attorney can help provide you with the state-specific requirements, but generally you'll have to include details about your marriage including legal names, date of marriage, proof of state residency, and grounds for divorce. After you file, the court will ensure your spouse is served with notice of the divorce proceedings.
You and your spouse must reach a legal settlement on division of assets, child custody, and other legal issues. If you are in an amicable relationship, you may be able to reach an agreement through mediation. Some states require couples to participate in mediation first. If you can't reach a settlement, the matter can proceed to trial where the judge makes decisions on unresolved matters and then grants the divorce.