Bringing your marriage to an end can sometimes be an emotional and financially challenging decision. It is not easy to make the right decisions and you do not want to proceed alone. A lawyer can help you decide which is the best route for you to take. An experienced lawyer will walk you through the procedures and help you understand the process. If both parties would like to resolve things in a peaceful matter, a lawyer can recommend a mediator to help determine how the parties should divide properties and settle parental responsibilities. In some states you don’t have to prove who is at fault, just that the marriage is irretrievably broken.
Once you have determined to proceed with the divorce, you and your lawyer will sit down to go over the details. At this time it is best to tell your lawyer everything you know about the situation. This will help determine how much property you can keep, and how the children will receive parental visits. Once all the details have been discussed your lawyer will then file the paper work. If you are the petitioner, your lawyer will help you file a petition with the court. This process is required to get the ball rolling and will also be served to the other spouse. You do not have to hand deliver the papers to your spouse if you do not want to. Your local sheriffs department can, for a nominal fee, deliver them to the other party for you.
If you have received papers from your spouse for divorce, your lawyer can help you go through the papers and explain what is going on. Your lawyer can explain to you in plain English what your spouse is claiming. You will then have some time to either agree upon or file an answer to the court. After your answer has been received by the court a date will be established. There is no benefit for filing first, the only difference is for filing purposes and will not determine anything for judgment.
If you have children, one of the most important things during this process and after is how the children will be cared for. Settlement must be determined for each child as to their well being through the age of 19. This includes living arrangements, medical care, and day care. Basically, child support is determined based on the overall gross income of the parties and how many nights the child or children will spend with each parent. Your lawyer can help you figure out who will be paying for what expenses.
In some states there is a minimum of 90 days waiting period from the day the divorce is filed. This gives both parties some time to work out the situation. If you have resolved everything within this time, the court will issue a divorce on the 91st day. The court will not grant a divorce until everything is settled and an agreement has been reached either by agreement or settlement by the court. This includes how your property will be divided, and how the children, if any, will receive support.