Legal Guide

What Are The Procedures For A Divorce?

The dissolution of marriage means that the union is irreparably broken. Terminating the union can take a toll emotionally and legally. A person may file a divorce themselves, but speaking with an attorney may give guidance in navigating this complicated process.

Speak With A Divorce Lawyer

The first step in getting a divorce is speaking with an experienced attorney. They can help with filing the correct court documents and offer advice on financial matters. There is a multitude of things to remember. You may have some bitter disagreements moving forward and your attorney can communicate with the opposing party.

Filing A Petition

This is the first step in the process of filing for divorce. Most divorces are no-fault, which means everything is considered 50/50, including debts and assets. A person is not required to prove fault to file. The person who files for the dissolution of marriage is named the petitioner, and the person being served the petition is the respondent. You must have two copies of the petition. The original copy is filed with the court and one copy to each spouse. The respondent has twenty days to respond to the petition. Otherwise the motion defaults to the judgment of the court. If the divorce goes to trial, both parties will be required to have legal representation.

Divorce Agreement

Both parties should gather personal and financial data. The division of assets is based on property and debt accumulated during the marriage. The parties will need to figure out who gets to stay in the home while it goes up for sale or one of the parties assumes full ownership. If there are children involved, coming up with a parenting plan is important. Agreeing on child support may be a difficult process. Using a child support calculator according to the state child support guidelines will help decide to budget your money. If one spouse was a stay-at-home parent, alimony might be a consideration.

Things to check during the process:

  • Dividing the property and assets
  • The custody of the children
  • Child support
  • Spousal support

If the respondent does not acknowledge the petition, the petition will default to the courts. The respondent may still participate in the proceedings regarding relief but may not contest the petition for dissolution of marriage.

Mediation or Trial

A mediator is the spokesperson between both parties. This can be beneficial in negotiating the divorce agreement. If the spouses can agree to meditation during their divorce, they will avoid having to go to court. This is a more peaceful resolution to finalizing the dissolution of marriage.

If your divorce goes to trial the judge and the opposing spouse has responded to the petition within the legal time frame, the judge will hear both parties. A divorce trial is the same as any other trial proceeding. The judge will review all the evidence and make a decision for the case. The court may not grant everything created in the divorce agreement. For instance some requests might violate child support or custody laws. Whether you agree to mediation or go to trial, the best course of action is to seek legal advice from an experienced attorney. A Divorce Lawyer in Phoenix can offer aid with family law matters.

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