Every divorce is unique and can lead to unexpected situations that you will need to work through alongside an attorney. However, having a general idea of what to expect can help you prepare for the road ahead. If you are thinking of filing for divorce and need advice specific to your case, call our firm for a consultation.
The idea of divorcing can be intimidating. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prepare before filing, such as gathering important documents related to finances and insurance policies. Determine what you hope to achieve during the divorce, such as keeping the family house, and what type of divorce is suitable for your case. Couples that agree with most of the matters may be able to speed up the process through an uncontested divorce, but couples that have heated disagreements may need to prepare for trial. Seek the guidance of a knowledgeable divorce lawyer at the soonest opportunity.
To begin the divorce process, you’ll need to provide documents required by the state, such as a Summons, Petition for Dissolution of Marriage and Financial Declaration. In your petition, you will include statements outlining the provisions you hope you receive through the settlement, such as primary custody of a child or temporary support. Having these forms prepared by a lawyer ensures that your petition contains all the necessary information.
The service of process, also known as the notice, is the act of mailing the divorce papers to the other spouse. In many cases, this is the stage in which the other party is informed of the divorce for the first time. After receiving the petition, the spouse may choose to file an answer, although doing so is not required.
As both parties work towards a final divorce settlement, certain issues may receive a temporary decision. In the case that both you and your spouse agree, you may request a provisional, or preliminary, hearing to ask the judge to determine a ruling. This ruling, known as a provisional order, will remain effective until a final agreement is made. Provisional hearings may be requested at any stage of the proceedings, but they typically occur right after filing.
Both spouses must submit a financial disclosure to the court, which will include assets, debts and income sources. Your disclosure must be complete and honest since omitting any relevant information may be perceived as an attempt to hide assets or mislead the judge.
Between filing for divorce and the final settlement, both parties’ attorneys may exchange evidence and documents that they think are necessary to accurately portray your marital property. By gathering and preparing these documents in advance, the discovery phase can be quickly resolved. Also, both sides may file a motion to request a decision or modification from the court.
Both parties will need to work with their attorneys to resolve conflicts. Negotiation depends on the extent of your and the other party’s disagreements. If the divorce is highly contested, mediation may be required by the court. Common contested matters include child custody, parenting matters and asset division.
Once all issues have been settled through negotiation or mediation, the court will receive a drafted final agreement. In Indiana, couples must wait for a minimum of 60 days after the petition is filed for the divorce to be granted. Then, the court will issue a Decree of Dissolution and the marriage is legally over.
Divorce is one of the toughest life transitions your family will experience, and you need a skilled attorney to fight for your rights. Villarrubia & Rosenberger, P.C. is here to support you each step of the way. Contact our firm today to schedule a consultation.
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