Ending a marriage is never an easy thing. Once you have made the decision, and feel this is the best course for your future, you may feel completely at a loss for what to do next. While involved in the emotional trauma of ending your marriage and starting your life fresh, you could feel overwhelmed with the simple tasks of hiring an attorney and filing for divorce. Follow the steps listed below in order to lessen anxiety and stress and feel positively about the direction you are headed.
Step One: Hire An Attorney
It is important in this situation that your needs and desires are well represented. If this is your first experience with divorce, hiring a lawyer can ensure that your needs are well represented and fought for. Ideally, both parties would be respectful and interested in courteous divorce proceedings; unfortunately this is not always the case. Not only will an attorney protect your rights and needs, but they will also offer you the experience and knowledge necessary to know how to proceed with your divorce.
Step Two: File A Petition In Court
One or both spouses will need to file a petition in a court of law to end the marriage. If you have hired an attorney, they will handle the process for you. In this petition, several things will be listed, such as:
- Assets owned by the family
- Children’s names and ages
- Each spouse’s yearly salary
- Temporary custody request
Other issues that must be urgently decided may also be included in the petition that is filed with the court.
Step Three: Discovery
During the discovery process, each side will ask the other for specific information about the value of certain assets. Some examples are retirement funds or the value of a business owned. This is done to ensure that all assets are represented fairly and can be divided accurately by the court. An attorney can also handle the discovery process if you choose to hire one.
Step Four: The Decision
Divorces in which both parties are agreeable and have set clear terms are often settled quickly by a judge. Once each party has completed the process of discovery, each side will then make a motion asking for certain assets to be granted to them, such as custody or visitation rights of children. Once both parties have agreed on the terms, the judge can then grant the divorce and divide the assets evenly.
While all of these steps may be performed without an attorney, you can guarantee that there is always someone on your side when you hire one. A good lawyer will make sure you are not taken advantage of and that you get what you need from your divorce.