Divorce can be one of the most stressful periods in someone’s life. In addition to the emotional drain it causes, not knowing what to expect during the process adds to the stress during divorce. There are three major areas that need to be addressed in most divorces: equitable division of the property and debts, determining child custody, and child support. Obviously, two of those issues don’t apply in divorces without children. Occasionally, spousal support will be in issue in some divorces, which was traditionally referred to as “alimony.”
Because not knowing what to expect only adds to the emotional stress of divorce, the short guide below was developed. The material is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the guidance of an attorney to assist you in navigating the difficult path of divorce.
In general, there are two “types” of a divorce – uncontested and contested. In an uncontested divorce, the parties have come to an agreement on all major issues and just need to properly present a settlement agreement and related required documents for court approval. This process usually only takes 30-60 days once the proper paperwork is presented and is not the focus of this guide.
Step one: the Complaint.
Step two: Service of Process.
Step three: Answer.
Step four: Discovery.
Step five: Temporary hearing.
Step six: Alternatives to trial.
Step seven: Trial.
Understanding the divorce process: A FAQ over common divorce questions.