Once you and your spouse have tried everything to come to a mutual reconciliation to no avail and you both agree that it is time for a divorce in 60563- so now what? You need to learn how the process works. Most cases of divorce are painted as confrontational and argumentative with long drawn out court hearings and months of negotiation and fighting. While this is true, many cases of divorce are agreed upon in an amiable manner with both parties agreeing to terms and conditions rather easily. There are as many factors that can influence the process and outcome of a divorce as here are couples getting a divorce every year. There are also a number of reasons why a couple may be seeking a divorce. The important thing to remember is that the process of getting a divorce is complex and unless every step of the process is mutually agreed upon, it is often best to have an attorney guide you through the progressions. If you are looking for the best in local attorneys, Grunyk Family Law is here for you and you’ve come to the right place for valuable insights into the divorce process.
Legal Requirements to Divorce
The first thing you will need to think about and determine is where you will need to file for your divorce. Typically, this is somewhere in the country and/or city where you or your spouse live. You will need to determine if you meet the state’s residency requirements for filing a divorce and if not, you will need to file elsewhere. If you or your spouse have active military status in the United States, you find a place in the area where you are currently stationed, regardless of where you or your spouse currently live otherwise. However, there are rules to protect active duty service members from civil lawsuits so extra consideration will need to be given when military personnel are involved in a divorce; it is advisable to have a divorce attorney assist with the process and ensure all legal and civil requirements and regulations are met and upheld. Any other situations that may complicate the divorce process- children, large sums of saved income, lots of property, or physical/mental limitations of one spouse- an attorney is needed to help with the process to ensure all legal requirements are accounted for.
Completing and Filing Divorce Petitions
To complete your finished forms and officially file the divorce petition, you need to decide whether you want to file as a “no fault” or “fault” divorce. Fault divorces are for situations like abuse, assault, cheating, and other events where one party is drastically at fault for the ending of the marriage. No fault divorces are more amiable with both parties agreeing to dissolve the marriage and agree to the terms of dividing property and assets with little to no need for ruling or mediations. If you don’t have any kids and few assets, a “summary” divorce could also be filed with no involvement of an attorney or legal team at all, just a simple filing of papers with the courthouse and an appearance before the judge to approve the divorce. With children, there’s child custody and child support papers to complete and usually a more involved process as rulings need to be made in terms of custody and visitation rights for the parents. You can complete all of the necessary divorce forms on your own or with the assistance of a divorce lawyer, which is the recommended course of action. Here at Grunyk Family Law, our skilled and experienced lawyers can assist with every step in the process of getting a divorce; it is easy to see why our local attorneys are known and trusted by members of the local community.
Serving Divorce Papers
Once the official divorce papers have been filed at court, they will then need to be “served” to your spouse. Generally, this require you or another adult to hand deliver the papers to your spouse to ensure they are received and are received by them alone. You can use professional servers or have a friend or trusted adult you know serve the papers for you if you do not wish to meet with or see your spouse during this time. In cases where domestic violence is involved, many times someone from the local police or sheriff department will serve the papers, without charging the usual fee. Once the divorce papers have been received by the other party, the papers have been served and it is time to wait for their response.
Answering a Divorce Petition
If you have been served papers for divorce by your spouse, you still have the opportunity to appear in court to state what you do and do not want included in the terms of the papers you have been served. If you disagree about custody or visitation rights, property distribution, or other terms, you need to make that known and appear before a judge to state your concerns and make know your terms and requests for the divorce. Make sure you answer your served papers within the deadline set by state law- something your divorce attorney can assist you with. In responding, you can fill out the court forms yourself or have your lawyer help you draft and fill out the forms and appear with you in court to present your case. If there are disagreements about the terms of a divorce, hiring an attorney from Grunyk Family Law can be a real lifesaver!
Mediation and Settling a Divorce Case
Many divorces end with a settled agreement that both parties can live with. Many states require mediation when a dispute arises and while this draws out the process and tie it takes to make the divorce official, it is important for avoiding conflict down the road. Mediation helps ensure one spouse cannot come after the other years later seeking repaying of assets or fight to get custody of children or challenge the terms of the divorce. Even without a formal program, you and your spouse may benefit from meeting with a mediation counselor so you can try and find a way to still have as friendly a relationship as possible after the divorce- especially if there are children involved.
Trial and Appeals
When conflict arises and arguments ensue over the terms of the divorce, the process of getting a divorce moves to trials and appeals. If your case goes to trial, which is usually for extreme cases like child custody battles or situations where spousal abuse is present, you’ll need to present evidence to support your case before the judge. This can include things like testimony from witnesses, records and recorded statements, police reports, medical files, and any other proof to support your position so the judge can decide on a settlement for you and your spouse. It will be easier if you’re represented by an attorney at trial and have the expertise of a skilled and experienced divorce attorney working with you every step of the way.
If you have questions about how to file for a divorce, the process of getting a divorce, or what all is involved in a divorce, contact us today. Here at Grunyk Family Law, our local attorneys live and work in the community and are committed to serving every client that comes to us as if they were our own family! Come see the difference we can make in your divorce case whether it is simple or complex. Let our years of experience and proven track record work for you in your time of need to make this less than pleasant experience a bit easier on everyone involved. Call today to schedule your free consultation!