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How to File for Divorce

How to File for Divorce

Filing For Divorce

Thinking about divorcing your spouse? It’s not as simple as signing a few documents. Because you are legally bound, it takes time to undo the marriage, and a few preliminary steps are required to file for divorce. If you want to file, take into consideration the following.

Local Regulations

Regulations change depending on your state. First, you need to have established residency in the state you want to file in, the length of which depends on the state. Then, you may have a mandatory waiting or separation period before you can file, which is longer for those who have children. Check your state’s regulations to make sure you can pursue divorce.

Fault-Based Versus No-Fault

After you figure out whether you’re in compliance with your local regulations, you must choose the type of divorce you wish to file: fault-based or no-fault. A no-fault divorce is where neither of you takes the blame for the divorce, and no specific reason is required of you. If you wish to file because of your spouse’s infidelity or abuse, you may be able to file for a fault-based divorce. However, this option is limited to certain states, and because court hearings will be necessary to prove fault, it will also draw out the proceedings.

Petitions and Temporary Orders

Either spouse can file a petition for divorce. You can ask the court to also provide temporary orders while the divorce proceedings occur. It takes time to undo a legal union, and court orders help establish temporary living situations, child custody and support, and restraining orders until the divorce is finalized. It’s in your best interest to file a request for temporary orders in tandem with your divorce petition.

If you file first, you must serve your spouse the necessary papers before your case can continue. A mutual separation may expedite this step, but if your spouse avoids being legally served, you may want to hire a licensed professional to deliver the papers. Once served, your spouse will have a certain window of time to respond. If they do, your case will proceed with negotiations and settlements. If they don’t, the case may default in your favor. 

Legal Counsel

If you’re considering divorce, don’t hesitate to hire a divorce lawyer. An experienced divorce lawyer will walk you through each step, including preparation, filing, and any subsequent proceedings. Divorce can be complicated, and you’ll want to have an experienced legal professional like the attorneys at May Law LLP ease you through this transition.

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