Understanding the Divorce Process begins with understanding the role of the court, which is called the family court. In most states, the divorce procedure is governed by a set of divorce laws known as “minor divorce laws”. These laws outline the requirements needed by the divorcing parties to begin the divorce process.
The first requirement is that there must be a ground for divorce. Grounds are based on irreconcilable differences. Marital misconduct is one common ground that is recognized in the law. This grounds the requirement for some states to allow same sex couples to file divorce papers. Other states have made special provisions for domestic violence, such as spousal abuse and child abuse.
In addition to grounds, there are other procedural requirements that must be followed. Before a divorce case can proceed, the first step is for the spouses to be informed of their rights under the law. They must be provided with a copy of the divorce decree, and the hearing will occur if they object. If no objections are raised, the case will move forward toward a final hearing where the judge will issue a final order. There is also a chance the case can be refiled after the divorce has been finalized if the parties agree.
Because the divorce process is so complex, many individuals turn to lawyers to assist them with the legal aspects. Attorneys represent the parties in the divorce process. A lawyer’s main function is to review all paperwork and prepare it for court. In this case, the paperwork consists of divorce decrees, settlement agreements and other documents. While some lawyers handle only the actual filings, many attorneys work on both sides of the divorce deal so they have experience and knowledge of the laws as well as the tactics necessary for success.
Another step in the filing process is the filing complaint which contains the particulars of the claim being filed with the court. Complaints generally include a statement outlining why the marriage has failed and what damages (if any) have been suffered. The complaint will be filed with the local courthouse where the parties got married. Subpoenas may also be issued by the court to compel parties to testify regarding the validity of the marriage.
After the complaint has been filed, the parties will be required to appear before a judge to answer questions regarding the divorce process. If either party wishes to add any stipulations or defenses to the claim, they must do so at this time. A divorce attorney will ask for evidence regarding whether or not the grounds for divorce actually exist. If no grounds are cited, the judge will ask for an explanation as to why the request was made. Finally, a judge will issue an order allowing the divorce to proceed. For more information about divorce and other family law related areas, visit www.lennonfamilylaw.org.