The Divorce Process in the US Explained

The Divorce Process in the US Explained

It would be best if you had in mind that the process of divorce starts with a petition. The main idea is that one partner or petitioner will write a petition and serve to the partner.

Keep in mind that you need to fill a petition in state court where your partner resides.

Most people think that a location where the marriage occurred is essential, but that is not the case.

The petition has to feature relevant info about marriage, including naming the partners and children, separate properties, child custody, and pre-marital agreement, among other things.

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Generally, when you write a petition, you need to serve it to the partner. We are talking about the service of the process. In case both sides agree upon all details, the partner will have to sign an acknowledgment as the form of finished service.

On the other hand, if the spouse refuses to sign or if you cannot find him/her, you should find professional help to allow you to handle and deliver papers with ease. As soon as you complete the service and process, the clock will start a waiting period.

Remember that the process also includes automatic restraining orders until the separation date is set. Throughout this particular point, both partners cannot take children out of state, borrow against property, sell or borrow insurance, and other things until you finish the process.

Petition Response

The respondent will have to file a response to a particular petition in which he/she will state whether everything is okay or not. Remember that filling a response means that both parties agree to the overall process.

At the same time, if you both agree, the process will not go to a court hearing, which is the common problem that will delay the separation and make you spend more money on everything.

If the respondent does not file a response in thirty days, the petitioner can request a default, in which a responding spouse will not be able to disagree with all information within the petition.

Final Steps

Remember that both spouses have to provide relevant information regarding their income, liabilities, assets, and expenses. In case the divorce goes uncontested, the spouses can agree on terms, which require only paperwork and a few days at most.

As soon as the court enters the point of judgment, they will finish with the process. However, the formal resolve will happen until the end of the waiting period. If you cannot resolve disputes and agree based on the information, the next step will be a trial.

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Things to Avoid While Divorcing

One of the most stressful events in our lives can be divorce, especially if we are not filing for the process. Since the tensions are at the peak, couples tend to make the wrong decisions without thinking straight.

Since you need to handle personal, practical, and financial details that will make your overwhelming along the way, it is not surprising that so many couples tend to make numerous mistakes that could affect the outcome.

When it comes to things you should and should not do, in the further article, we will explain to you things you should altogether avoid if you wish to handle the divorce without any additional problem.

1.     Avoid Getting Pregnant

Even though it seems obvious, having a baby during the divorce can only cause severe complications of the overall process. At the same time, it may affect your rights to divorce in the first place.

For instance, one court case in Spokane County created a precedent because the judge refused a pregnant woman to divorce an abusive husband, even if the husband is not the father of a child.

Since she became pregnant during the divorce processes and proceedings, state law assumed that the husband is the father, which lead to a decision.

At the same time, the judge refused to grant a divorce because he thought that child should not live without a father, who should take both financial and personal responsibility in raising a child.

2.     Change Your Will

Changing your marital status will not automatically affect your will, which is an essential consideration you should remember. If you wish to prevent your ex-spouse from receiving privileges and monies from your will, you should update it as soon as possible.

Remember that you will be able to re-do it at any time. However, if you die before the divorce is finished and settled, and you have left your partner nothing, she/he will still get the part of your estate, which you need to understand.

3.     Collaborative Divorce or Mediation

When it comes to collaborative divorce, you should know that you could hire divorce coaches, attorneys, and other professionals to help you manage emotional stress and divide property, among other things.

Some people state that collaborative divorce is not about helping partners, but it is about taking more money from them. The main idea is that you will hire therapists, divorce coaches, and attorneys to help you with the process.

However, most jurisdictions that feature this particular option have stated that this solution and choice is less adversarial and more cooperative than the traditional one.

On the other hand, you can also choose mediation in which third-party professionals such as a divorce mediator will help you reach a perfect agreement without severe consequences.

Mediation is the process of intervention that will help both sides reach an agreement without going to court. Even though lawyers cannot be part of mediation sessions, you should conduct consultations to determine what you can and what you should avoid saying.

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4.     Avoid Sleeping With a Lawyer

The divorce is an emotionally daunting experience, which means that it is simple to get close to a person on your side throughout the process. However, you are making a huge mistake that will cost you significantly.

Some states strictly prohibit having sexual activity with a designated attorney. On the other hand, other states will allow the sexual relationship before and after the case.

In both situations, this is not something that you should do throughout the divorce process, and you should leave the attorney-client communication to be as objective as possible.

That way, you will get the most out of it.

5.     Avoid Taking It Out On Children

Throughout the process of divorce, children should be in a supportive environment. Therefore, you should reduce the amount of talk about the process and be there for them.

Do not focus your energy to talk bad things about your partner, and instead let them know that nothing has changed by being there for them.

You should attend their events, help them with homework, and take them outside without using a process to affect the relationship.

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