You know that you want a divorce, but you’ve never been through this process before. You’re not sure where or how to begin. You also know that it’s very important to avoid unnecessary mistakes.
Errors could cost you in tangible assets, time with your kids and many other ways. How do you get started?
Filing the divorce petition and then moving forward
First of all, don’t worry if you find this confusing or intimidating. You’re not alone. Most people who get divorced have never done so before. They have no idea what to expect and no experience. That’s fine, though it is why you may want to work closely with an experienced attorney.
In any case, the initial step you need to take is to file the divorce petition. Even if you and your spouse have already talked about it, this makes it official. Filing gives your spouse a set time in which they need to respond.
Ideally, they’ll quickly sign the papers and you can move forward with the process. However, you do have to wait for them if they take their time. If they miss the deadline, though, you can move forward with a default divorce regardless. You just have to give them the proper time to consider the petition and respond to it.
Once that has happened, you move in to the discovery stage of the divorce. This is when you disclose what assets you own, present lists of facts for the other party to admit or deny and turn over other types of personal information. All of this helps the court understand your relationship so that they can make accurate rulings.
The above will help you get started, but there are many more steps to take. Be sure you know exactly what to do. Your attorney can provide valuable guidance throughout the process.