How To File for a Divorce – Step-by-Step Guide
While you’re not required to hire a divorce lawyer, it’s often beneficial to have a legal representative beside you. An experienced divorce attorney can help you navigate the complexities of dividing assets, setting support payments, and arranging for child custody. While filing for divorce can seem intimidating, learning more about it will tell you what to expect.
File the Petition
Either you or your spouse must initiate divorce proceedings by filing a petition with the court. The petition must provide certain details that will establish that you’re qualified to file. Some requirements include proving that you’re a resident of the state and providing a legal reason for the divorce. Your divorce attorney can help you provide other statutory information that might be required.
Seek Temporary Court Orders
You might need to establish or maintain certain conditions while you pursue the divorce. You can petition the court for temporary support or temporary child custody as needed. These orders will remain in effect until the divorce has been settled.
Serve Your Spouse
This step involves informing your spouse that you intend to file for divorce. This is done by having a copy of the divorce petition delivered to your spouse. Once they have been served with the papers, you or your lawyer will file proof of service with the court.
Attempt Settlement Through Mediation
If you and your spouse can negotiate without letting emotions get in the way, mediation might be right for you. Each party can still have a licensed divorce attorney present to advise them, but an impartial mediator will oversee the discussion. Once a settlement is reached, a divorce trial becomes unnecessary.
Go to Trial
Although a jury trial is possible, most divorces are heard and settled by a judge. The judge will listen to witnesses and examine evidence just as is the case in any trial. After each side presents its case, the judge will determine issues relating to the division of assets, support payments, and child custody.
Finalize the Settlement
Whether you agree on a settlement through mediation or you go to trial, the judge must approve the final settlement agreement. Even if you hire a divorce lawyer in Delray Beach, the judge will ensure the settlement is fair, legal, and understood by both parties. Once the judge signs off on the settlement, the marriage has been dissolved and the settlement agreement is in place.
Going through a divorce can feel overwhelming and stressful, but hiring a licensed divorce attorney will make this process a little easier. Your lawyer will provide insight that may help you achieve a better outcome. They can also alleviate the confusion that comes with going through this legal process. Most people find that a divorce is easier to manage with the right lawyer representing them.
Trust Experienced Family Lawyers With Your Divorce
Hiring an experienced divorce attorney may help you obtain a more favorable outcome in your settlement. To schedule a consultation and discuss your divorce with a lawyer at Pyfrom & Reisler, PA, contact us online.