Knowing the steps to getting a divorce can help make the process smoother and less stressful. In this blog post, we'll explore some common questions and the answers about the divorce process such as: some of the typical steps and paperwork involved in getting a divorce, the different types of divorces that exist, the prevalence of trials during divorce proceedings, what a deposition is, and whether or not divorce records are public.
What are the Grounds for Divorce?
The typical steps for getting a divorce depend on the state you're living in as well as your specific circumstances. Generally though, couples need to first establish grounds for the divorce. Most states are no-fault at this point however, some also allow for fault (see below links for more info). All states have no-fault grounds for divorce. However, there are 35 states that also allow for fault and 15 states that are only no-fault states. No-fault just means that neither party has to prove any wrongdoing. In the past, someone who wanted to divorce had to prove wrongdoing by the other spouse in order to get a divorce. No-fault does not mean there was no wrongdoing, it just means it does not have to be proven.
What Paperwork do you File for Divorce?
After deciding to proceed with filing a petition for dissolution of marriage (divorce) papers are filed with the local court usually either by lawyers or individuals. Filing a petition with the court, begins the legal proceedings. After this paperwork has been filed, spouses will be served with notice of the proceedings by mail or through another form of delivery. Then, the other spouse responds.
What are Typical Types of Divorce?
Depending on the state in which you reside, there are typically two types of divorce: contested and uncontested. In an uncontested divorce, both parties agree on all of the major issues such as child custody, property division, and alimony, while in a contested divorce one or both parties disagree with some of these issues and need to settle them through mediation, collaboration, or litigation.
What Other Paperwork and Documents are required for Divorce?
Regardless of whether one ends up going through trial or not, filing certain documents with a family court system will still be required by law for dissolving one’s marriage legally in most states like petitions for dissolution, notices of hearing (if applicable), financial affidavits, etc. Each state has its own set of rules concerning what type of paperwork needs filed when initiating this process so it’s important that each person look into exactly what documents are necessary before filing them with their local court systems. I
How Common it is to Go To Trial?
Only about 5% of divorces end up going to trial; about 95% of divorce cases settle without going to trial due to high cost associated with litigation; however, some more complex cases may require it if both parties cannot come to an agreement on major issues such as parenting time, child support payments,or other financial considerations.
What Is A Deposition?
A deposition is part of the discovery phase in civil litigation during which an opposing party's representative can take sworn testimony from witnesses under oath so it can be used as evidence at trial if necessary. During a deposition at least one lawyer will question the parties and/or witnesses under oath so that they may provide testimony about the facts related to the dispute at hand that may be used during trial if necessary. It is important that those that are deposed answer truthfully since if they do not they will be lying under oath.
What Happens without a Trial?
An agreement is usually reached through mediation or other forms of negotiation between both parties. If both parties agree on all terms and conditions within a set number of days after receiving notice, they can move forward with signing a marital settlement agreement.They may need to seek Mediation or the consultation of a Collaborative Divorce team to help them come to an agreement if the divorce is more amicable.
Divorce Decree is Entered – Are Divorce Records Public?
Yes - typically most states make all filings related to divorce available publically either online or via physical visit county clerk office. Divorce records are generally considered public record though there are some exceptions depending on where you live as some states may restrict access depending upon certain circumstances such as if there were minor children involved in the dissolution proceedings or other sensitive matters discussed which could compromise someone’s privacy rights if those records become available publicly online or otherwise.
Consult an experienced family law attorney and/or mediator to discuss the potential outcomes of a divorce.
File for a divorce with the court, paying court costs and filing fees.
Serve the other spouse with the petition for divorce.
Prepare paperwork and documents.
Reach agreement with one’s spouse about issues such as child custody, alimony, division of assets and debts, etc. (if possible).
Attend mandatory court hearings or mediation sessions to resolve outstanding issues if necessary.
Receive a divorce decree from the court that legally terminates the marriage.
Starting your New Life.
It is important to remember that this is a new chapter in your life and you should take the time to pause and reflect on what has happened, how you have grown, and what lies ahead. It may be helpful to reach out to a support network to talk through any feelings that come up during this process. Moving forward, focus on setting goals for yourself that will help bring stability and joy into your life. Consider taking up a hobby or activity that brings you joy, such as painting, gardening, volunteering, exercising or learning something new. Keeping busy with positive activities can help you stay focused on the future and create opportunities for personal growth.
As a Divorce Coach I am here for you every step of the way in navigating this new chapter. I can help provide resources, support, financial budgets, and clarity during this time of transition. You are not alone, so reach out for help if you need it. Together we will create a plan to bring joy, peace and stability into your life!
If you are considering or going through a divorce right now - don't hesitate to contact Sophie for free consultation today! You owe it yourself to go into this process prepared for whatever life throws at you; get empowered with education and information that will allow you take some control into your hands during this time - schedule your free consultation now!
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Fro more information on Fault, No-Fault, and Combination States :
How common is it to go to trial during divorce and types of divorce: