If you’ve decided you want a divorce and wish to set the process in motion, then you’ll want to go ahead and file the divorce papers. Depending on your jurisdiction, state, or country is the length of time it will take to get a divorce so best start with the divorce papers as soon as you can.
When it comes to the quickest, simplest, and cheapest type of divorce, that would be the uncontested divorce. This is the situation where both husband and wife agree to the divorce, and you have also agreed all other matters that require discussion at the end of a marriage, such as child support and custody, who gets the house, alimony, how any joint debts will be handled, and division of savings and other property.
Since all of the matters requiring a court decision have been agreed on, an uncontested divorce doesn’t have to go to court. But the agreement still needs to be written out and submitted to the court after it’s been signed by both parties.
It’s possible to do this yourself in the simplest cases. In this situation, there are no children and complicated property or issues of debt. Perhaps both partners are working and you are simply going to divide up the property that you have and go your separate ways with no question of alimony.
Hiring one lawyer to act for both of you can be one option if it’s a more complication situation but you’re sure you can reach an agreement on everything. Besides being able to raise questions you haven’t considered, the lawyer can also help you in drawing an agreement that will satisfy the court. Rather than hiring separate attorneys, this will be cheaper and more amicable.
Even if both of you want the divorce, if there are matters you can’t agree on, you still have to go to court. In this case, having you own lawyer is preferable.
The first step in filing divorce papers is to complete the petition for divorce, which may be called Original Petition For Divorce or Letter Of Complaint in different states. One spouse (the petitioner) will file this with the court and be served on the other spouse (respondent or defendant) by the Sheriff’s office.
And what if your spouse has filed for divorce without your consent? Can you stop the divorce by moving to an unknown address or refusing to accept the divorce papers being served on you? Unfortunately the answer is no. Serving the papers by publishing a notice in the newspapers in most states is what your spouse can do if he/she can’t find you.
If you want to try to stop the divorce, it is better to allow the divorce papers to be served on you so that you are fully informed of what is happening. Then see a lawyer about how to contest the case in the best way, and talk to a marriage counselor at the same time.