What is the Divorce Process?
The divorce process varies based upon the State in which the divorce is taking place. However there are some occurrences common to most divorces:
1. Decide whether to hire a divorce lawyer.
2. Compile financial documents/records & start making lists of assets.
3. Choose the Jurisdiction that will allow you to get a divorce. Draft & file the Initial Documents.
4. Serve your spouse with Divorce Papers.
5. Speak with your Spouse (in or out of Court) to determine whether you have a contested divorce or uncontested divorce.
6. Engage in discovery (Court process through which evidence is exchanged during a divorce).
7. Identify what items are marital property and separate property.
8. Either agree to how marital property is split or go to trial in Court to split the assets and liabilities of the marriage.
9. If there are children, decide what the custody arrangement will be (or go to trial). If there is joint custody, one parent is often the custodial parent.
10. If there are children, decide how much child support will be paid (or have a hearing at Court to determine child support). Child support is usually paid to the spouse that makes less money, where applicable, even when the parties have identical visitation time.
11. Draft a stipulation of Settlement regarding all outstanding issues and submit it to the court.
12. Make sure that your medical insurance is not affected by divorce and if so, plan to file for COBRA.
13. Wait. It often takes quite a while from the time the divorce papers are filed until a court issues a Judgment of Divorce.
14. Obtain Judgment of Divorce. Serve it on your former spouse.
15. Start your new life.