Marriage is often referred to as a happily ever after, but unfortunately, not all marriages end that way. There may come a time when you and your spouse realize that you no longer want to be together. The process of ending a marriage is often emotionally and mentally taxing, and many individuals are unaware of what to expect. This blog aims to provide a comprehensive guide on the process of marriage dissolution and what to expect during the process.
The process of marriage dissolution begins with one spouse filing a petition in family court. This petition is a formal request to end the marriage and may include various legal documents, depending on the state you reside in. Once the petition has been filed, the other spouse has a period of time to respond. If the petition is uncontested, this stage may be skipped. However, if there are disputes about the divorce settlement or the custody of any children involved, the process becomes contested, and legal representation may be necessary.
The next step in the process is the discovery phase. During this stage, both spouses must disclose all assets, debts, and income that they possess. This step is accomplished through depositions, subpoenas, and written interrogatories. It may also include obtaining third-party documentation such as bank account statements, employment records, or tax returns. It is crucial to be transparent during this stage as it lays the foundation for the division of property and settlement negotiations.
Following the discovery phase is a period of settlement negotiations. This stage is often the most stressful for both parties. The goal of settlement negotiations is to reach an agreement on all aspects of the divorce, including but not limited to the division of property, spousal support, child support, and child custody. These negotiations may be facilitated by a mediator or take place in family court.
In the event that the parties are unable to reach an agreement during the settlement negotiations, the case will proceed to trial. A judge will hear both sides and make a final decision on all unresolved issues. While it is possible to negotiate a settlement on your own, having a skilled divorce lawyer to represent you in court can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case.
Marriage dissolution is a complex and emotional process that requires careful planning and expert guidance. Whether your divorce is contested or uncontested, having a skilled and experienced lawyer to advise and advocate for you is essential. A divorce lawyer can help you navigate the often-complicated legal proceedings, protect your rights, and work toward a fair settlement on your behalf. By understanding the process of marriage dissolution and having the right legal representation, you can move forward with confidence and peace of mind.
Reach out to a local law firm, such as Peterson & Peterson LLC, to learn more.