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Steps in Initiating the Divorce Process

Some of us may one day realize that the person we married is just not right for us. When this happens, we may wonder what initiating the divorce process would be like. Those who are considering taking the steps towards divorce may want to consider the following information provided below.

Identify the type of divorce do you need.

Depending on the state you live in, there are two kinds of divorces: an absolute divorce and limited divorce. The former legally ends the marriage, settles disputes, and after finalization you can marry again. For the latter, a limited divorce means that some key issues are resolved, but it doesn’t completely end the marriage. 

There may be no legal separation options.

Not every state across the nation offers a legal separation. If you and your spouse are living apart, have the intention to end the marriage, and have not had intimacy within that time, then that may be considered separation. Based on how long you and your spouse have been separated, this can be legal grounds for divorce. Aside from separation, other grounds for a limited divorce may include:

  • Desertion
  • Excessively vicious/cruel conduct

For an absolute divorce, one of the above grounds may have to apply in addition to: mutual consent, imprisonment for criminal offense, insanity, or adultery. You may request an absolute divorce if there is mutual consent, but you and your spouse must complete a settlement agreement. 

Responding to a case opened by a spouse.

Let’s say that your spouse was the one who initiated the divorce. If you reside in the same state as your spouse, it may be mandatory to respond within 30 days. If you live in a different state, you may have to respond within 60 days. Finally, if you were served divorce papers outside the United States, you may need to reply within 90 days.

As a family lawyer, like one from The Law Office of Daniel J. Wright, would agree with, getting a divorce is a serious matter and there are many legal factors to consider. Always get insight from a reputable lawyer so that you know how to initiate a divorce, or respond to it. 

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