Divorce is the legal termination of a marital union. A divorce decrees that legally married spouses are no longer married to each other. A divorce may be granted for various reasons, including abandonment, abuse, adultery, refusal to have children or inability to have children. These are called “grounds” for filing for divorce.
If you are facing the prospect of divorce, you might be wondering about what to expect. For example, how long does it take to get divorced? While different states have different legal requirements for ending a marriage, generally, you can expect that divorcing your spouse will take time and cost money (or both!).
Here are five stages of divorce that couples often go through.
During the pre-divorce stage, you and your spouse begin thinking about divorce as a possible option for ending your marriage. It is especially common if issues like financial problems or an affair threaten to destroy your marriage if not addressed. You might turn to divorce attorney websites to learn more about how to get a divorce and what you should consider.
2. Filing for divorce
If you and your spouse cannot resolve these issues or if the problems continue to grow worse, one of you may file for divorce. It is generally done with paperwork filing it with a family law court in your state, such as the Superior Court. The paperwork must state a “ground” for divorce, which is usually one of the reasons already mentioned.
3. Response to the filing
The other spouse may or may not agree with your reason(s) for wanting a divorce and with the terms of the settlement you’ve put forth in your petition (the official document that initiates the divorce). If the other spouse does not agree with your petition, they will file a response and may also include a counter-petition accepting one or more of your terms for settlement.
For example, if you only want to pay spousal support and don’t want to pay child support, and your spouse agrees with this but wants alimony instead, they might file a response that includes an alimony counter-petition.
4. Temporary orders and marital settlement agreement
If there are no disputes over the terms of the divorce in your petition, you might be able to settle everything during mediation sessions with an experienced family law attorney. All issues must be settled before a judge finally decides the case, who makes the decision final and legally binding.
If there are disputes that have yet to be resolved, you might need to go through temporary hearings where your divorce is put on hold until these issues are settled. At this stage, both of you will present evidence supporting your sides of the dispute(s). The judge will decide temporary issues, which may include how to handle custody, child support, and spousal support.
5. Final divorce judgment
Once all issues are settled, you will attend one last hearing where the judge hears the evidence presented at the temporary hearings and makes final decisions on all of your divorce terms. It is another opportunity for your spouse to accept or reject those terms, but those decisions are not binding. After the judge makes final rulings on your issues, you will be divorced, and your marriage is officially over.
What is the most important stage of divorce?
In general, most couples go through an emotional roller coaster as they work their way through the divorce process. Many divorcing spouses may feel a sense of relief when a divorce is finally granted after going to court many times and presenting evidence to support their sides. For others, the thought of ending a long-term relationship can be extremely difficult.
One of the most important stages in the divorce process is filing for divorce. It’s easy to get caught up in emotions or become frustrated by delays, but you must work with an experienced family law attorney who understands your wants and needs when they are filed for divorce.
If you’re ready to begin the divorce process, speak to an experienced family law attorney who will review your case and help you prepare the best possible petition for divorce. After all, it’s impossible to get a divorce without filing official paperwork with your local court system.
How do I file for divorce?
Filing for divorce is relatively straightforward; you need to contact your state’s Superior Court or family law court and request that they provide you with the official forms. You then fill out these papers with your full name, address, social security number, and date of birth. You’ll need to know the full legal names of your spouse if there are any minor children involved in the divorce, the date of your marriage, and the place where you were married. Additional forms also determine child custody, visitation rights, division of marital property, alimony/spousal support, child support, and how to handle any debts or assets.
You can find these forms at most courthouses or on your state’s Superior Court or family law court website. You can also ask your divorce lawyer to help you with this process. Once you submit the forms, a clerk will review them and file them with the Superior Court or family law court, where your divorce will be handled.
How long does it take to get over a divorce?
any couples who choose to divorce go through an emotional separation before they file for official divorce papers. This emotional separation can take several months to years, but it does not necessarily mean that the couple has already come to terms with their decision. When you begin the formal legal process of getting divorced, there will likely be an additional waiting period before the divorce is finalized and goes into effect.
Depending on your state’s Superior Court or family law court, you may have to wait several months after filing for divorce until the court system legally recognizes it. Specifically, your spouse must get a notice that you’ve filed for divorce and has 30 days to respond. If they do not respond, you can apply for a default judgment and receive your divorce decree fairly quickly.
If your spouse chooses to respond to the petition, they will have 30 days from the date of service to file a written response with the court. After this period has passed, you both attend an optional hearing so that the judge can make a final decision about your divorce. If this hearing is unnecessary, the judge will also review all evidence you’ve submitted and decide based on that information alone.
How long does it take to get divorced once you file?
The length of time it takes to get divorced after filing varies by state. For example, if both spouses agree to the divorce and there is no conflict over issues such as child custody or property division, they can get divorced in as little as 10 days. If their uncontested divorce petition has been filed correctly and there are no other issues to consider, most courts will schedule a hearing for up to 20 days after filing.
However, if at least one of the spouses wants to contest the divorce, it can take several months to schedule a court date. In some cases, this process may take over a year before a hearing is held and your divorce is finalized.
Can I file for divorce online?
No. You cannot file for divorce online. Filing for a divorce is a very formal legal process that must be handled by your state’s Superior Court or family law court. You can find official divorce filing forms at your county courthouse or on your state’s Superior Court or family law court website.
What can you not do during a divorce?
During the divorce process, you must not do anything that could be considered illegal or unethical. For example, you should not try to hide property or money from your spouse during the divorce. You also cannot threaten to cause physical harm to your spouse. You may not harass them via email, phone calls, text messages, etc., and you should not damage your spouse’s property or threaten to take any children out of state in an attempt to gain leverage in the divorce.