It is a well-known fact that nearly half of all marriages end in divorce. But, despite the prevalence of divorce, there are still many aspects of the legal process that are not well-understood.

For example, contrary to popular belief, the divorce process itself is relatively straightforward. However, due to the personal connections and history shared between the two parties, the process can quickly turn into a stressful, frustrating, and emotionally draining affair. Fortunately, with the help of a good lawyer, navigating the waters of divorce can be far less challenging than going in on your own. 

Still, before you even begin looking into hiring a divorce lawyer for your case, it is vital to understand your rights, as well as what to expect from the process. Lucky for you, LegalBreeze has you covered with this advantageous guide to the divorce legal process. 

How do I file for divorce?

To begin, it is important to recognize that, like any other legal process, divorce varies according to the couple’s particular situation. For example, a short-term marriage without children or property can lead to a divorce process that is far less complicated than a long-term marriage with major property commitments and minor-aged children. 

Before any couple can begin the divorce process, one spouse must file a legal petition asking the judge to dissolve the marriage. While each state has different requirements that must be met with respect to this legal petition, in most cases, the filing spouse must include a written statement that explains the reason — or grounds — for divorce. While “adultery” and “neglect” are all grounds for divorce, couples who are separating amicably often opt to file a no-fault divorce, which allows spouses to file a petition without listing a specific reason. Please note that, in some states, a legal petition must also include account records, phone records, mortgages, and wedding certificates. 

What happens after you file for divorce?

After the petition is filed, you must provide a copy of the paperwork to your spouse. As your spouse must have legal notice that you’ve filed for divorce, most courts require that you obtain proof that they received their copy of the paperwork. Some spouses, particularly those who are unwilling to get a divorce, may seek to delay or complicate the divorce process by not providing proof that they received their notice. For this reason, it is recommended that you hire a divorce lawyer, as they have experience with delivering legal documents to difficult parties.

Can I negotiate a settlement?

Reaching a settlement is the best option for couples who wish to avoid a costly and stressful trial. During a settlement, both spouses and their lawyers sit down to discuss topics such as child custody, support, debt, and property. In the best possible cases, both spouses reach a mutual agreement and avoid a trial. In cases where both parties have wildly different opinions and cannot reach a compromise, the case moves to trial. 

What happens during a divorce trial?

When negotiations fail, the case moves to trial so that a judge can take decisive action on issues that remain unresolved. After both parties have voiced their opinions and concerns, the judge will issue a judgement of divorce, which essentially ends the marriage and describes the specifics of how the couple will allocate parenting time, child support, and debts. 

What does a divorce lawyer do?

Given the history shared between the two spouses, it’s no surprise that some divorces can be emotional and complicated. By being objective and keeping your best interests in mind, good lawyers can make the process go as smoothly as possible. In addition to reviewing any agreements, a lawyer will be able to break through communication issues to deliver the best possible outcome for you. 

Naturally, you want a lawyer that fits your style and understands your goals. If you believe your divorce will be a complex affair, you must ensure that you find a lawyer who is up to the task. With its ez-estimate, LegalBreeze can get you in touch with an experienced divorce lawyer that will be able to fight in your corner while representing your best interests.


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