Divorce Process

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Divorce Process

The breakdown of a marriage is never easy, and it’s downright confusing for a lot of us. There are certain steps that you must take in order to get a divorce, and you have to prove that the marriage is irretrievably broken. To prove that, your case must meet a few different criteria, and we’ll go over those here.

• Infidelity. You can in fact get a divorce based on a cheating partner- but you cannot use an affair on your part to end a marriage. You cannot use adultery as grounds for divorce if you and your spouse lived together for more than six months (that does not have to be consecutive) after you found out about the affair.
• Unreasonable behavior on the part of either spouse
• Abandonment (you’ve not seen your spouse for more than two years)
• A separation of at least two years, with both parties consenting to the divorce. Separation doesn’t mean that the two spouses must live in separate homes- but be advised, while it is possible to remain in the same household after a separation, and to lead separate lives, courts will scrutinize those arrangements.
• Separation of five years (divorce can be filed without the other spouse’s consent)
• The marriage must endure for at least one year before either party can file for a divorce. The person who starts divorce proceedings is called the petitioner, while the other spouse is the respondent.

Divorce lawyers will usually suggest starting out by writing your soon-to-be ex-spouse a letter that warns of an impending divorce. This lays the groundwork for the lawyer’s involvement, and it can take some of the anxiety out of an already stressful situation. Most attorneys will also try to establish grounds for divorce at this time.

After grounds are established, your lawyer will draft a divorce petition. This document contains information about you, your spouse and your family, such as: time and place of marriage, names and birth dates of any children, and a listing of the reasons why a divorce is sought. This petition, along with the marriage certificate and a fee are sent to the court. If you have children under the age of majority, you will have to submit additional papers telling the court about custody arrangements. The court will forward a copy of the petition to your spouse, who will complete and return a consent form. Thankfully, most divorces these days are uncontested.





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