A divorce is simultaneously delicate, complex, and very stressful. Remaining objective and keeping emotions in check during divorce proceedings can be very difficult. If you are on the fence about hiring an attorney to assist you, then you should know the basic steps involved in a divorce case, and what to expect.
The Divorce Petition
The divorce petition – commonly referred to as “divorce papers” – must be served to the spouse. If the divorce is a mutual decision, then both parties will sign an acknowledgment of receipt of the petition. However, if a spouse refuses to sign the divorce papers, or has made themselves unavailable to be served, then initiating a divorce can become much more difficult. In these cases, most people hire professional process servers to deliver the divorce petition.
Once the papers are serves and signed, a time limit starts in accordance with state laws. Additionally, spouses receive automatic restraining orders to establish a date of separation. During this period, spouses cannot take their children out of state, sell property or assets, borrow against said property, or borrow against or sell insurance held for the other spouse. The other spouse is permitted to issue a response to the petition, either agreeing or disputing the grounds for divorce.
Negotiations and Settlements
Divorces are complex, and finding a middle ground where both spouses agree to who will retain ownership of property and assets, how child custody will be handled, and the amount of financial support given. In some cases, mediation is ordered by the court, in which case a neutral third party will assist in negotiations and resolve any loose ends.
The Divorce Trial
Negotiations do not always work out in a divorce. There are emotional, financial, and psychological motivations that can keep people from reaching an agreement. When negotiations fall through, a divorce will go to trial. Divorce trials can be expensive and time-consuming, and in some cases can place spouses and children through further trauma. Additionally, spouses give up control in a divorce case, and any final verdicts and remunerations are for the judge to decide.
If you are entering a divorce, contact the team at Goodwyn Law Firm LLC. Our attorneys will be with you at every step to ensure you are not overwhelmed or taken advantage of during divorce proceedings.