Divorce Guide

Divorce Guide

Filing For Divorce

Divorce is a totally legal matter that is processed in a proper and systematic manner. The couples who decide to get divorced should be prepared to get into legal processes. Each state in USA has different set of laws when it comes to divorce. The overall process remains the same but a few differences here and there do exist. However, irrespective of which state you belong to, the process of divorce starts from filing the divorce papers. This is a way to notify the court that you want a divorce.

Filing of divorce is known by different names everywhere. Some states call it filing the petition and in some states it is known as filing divorce application. The spouse who files the petition first is known as the “petitioner”. The other spouse is supposed to answer this petition in which case he/she will be called the “respondent”.

While filing the divorce petition it is important that you take legal help. In fact, even before filing the petition for divorce you should look for a good lawyer who can help you through out the divorce.

There is another important task that you need to accomplish before filing for divorce. You must sit with your spouse and try to agree on all divorce related issues mutually. Who will take the responsibility of children? Who will keep the marital house? Who will pay the alimony and so on? If these issues are settled between you mutually, then your divorce is going to be easy and less time taking.

A divorce petition is meant to tell the court about your decision to divorce and various other issues related to your marriage and separation, for example:
  • Do you want the custody of children?
  • On what grounds do you want divorce?
  • Do you expect alimony from your spouse?
  • How much maintenance do you expect from the spouse?
  • Do you want a share in family property?
  • How do you want to contribute in payment of debt?
These are some of the basic issues you will have to declare in the divorce petition file. In fact, there are different petition forms for couples with children and those without children.

Most of the state counties have a family court where the divorce petition is filed. The counties where family court is not found, petition can be submitted in “superior” or “circuit” court of the state. Most of the states have residency requirement for filing petition. One of the spouses has to be the resident of the state for a specified period of time in order to file divorce from that state. For example, California family laws require that one of the spouses has lived in the state for at least six months or in that county for at least three months.

If your divorce does not involve child custody, division of property or alimony issues then you can consider filing the divorce on your own without the help of an attorney. However, if there are lots of unsettled issues in your divorce then hiring a lawyer make sense. In case you are able to settle the issues with mutual agreement, then you can file for an uncontested divorce. Filing the divorce as uncontested will save a lot of time and effort.

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