Divorce is a painful and challenging time. Parting from the person you thought you would spend your life with is never easy, especially if kids are involved. The process is expensive and lengthy, and you go through a million legal paperwork, meetings, and hearings before finally separating.
No two divorces are alike, and everyone has different circumstances. However, all divorces still follow the same general format. Going through a divorce is a mentally exhausting time. Birmingham family law attorneys can take the burden off you and provide you an ease of mind.
Steps involved in a divorce:
Filing the divorce petition.
You can file the petition even if your spouse does not want a divorce. You can alone request the court for terminating your marriage. Your petition must include the following information.
- A statement that says that at least one spouse meets the state’s residency requirements.
- A legal and valid reason for divorce.
- Other statutory information.
Request temporary court orders.
You can ask the court for temporary child custody, child support, and spousal support court orders. The court allows you to file for a temporary order as it understands that waiting months for a divorce may not be possible for all couples.
Serve your spouse and wait for a response.
The filing spouse must inform the other spouse that a court petition for divorce has been filed and provide them with the paperwork. Further, the filing spouse must provide evidence of service to the court that tells the court that you gave your spouse a copy of the petition.
This is often easy if you and your spouse both decide on a mutual breakup or if your spouse agrees to your decision without much protest. However, if they do protest, you can hire a lawyer for help.
Negotiate a settlement.
Child custody, child support, property division are a few matters that need to be discussed before a divorce. The court will set a conference date where you, your spouse, and your attorneys will sit together to discuss the negotiation. The court may also arrange mediation with a neutral third party who listens to both sides and helps the two parties arrive at a decision.
If conferences and mediation sessions do not work, you will probably have to take your case to court, where the power is rested in the hands of the judge, and you and your spouse would no longer have a role in the decision-making. Therefore, it is best to avoid a trial.
Finalize the judgment.
At the end of the entire process, whether through mediation or trial, the judge signs a divorce judgment. This is basically paperwork confirming the dissolution of your marriage and ending it. An order of dissolution mentions details regarding custody, child support, alimony, and other essential things in a divorce.