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Divorce 101: An Introduction to the Legal Process

Marriages are delicate balances that require time, effort, and patience from both ends of the relationship. If the relationship is no longer suiting you or your partner, it may be time for a divorce. This process can seem scary and confusing, as it’s likely you never expected to be in such a position to begin with. If you’re looking for a crash course in divorce, below will offer an introduction to the legal process. 

Hire an Attorney

Arguably the most important first step to take when thinking about filing for a divorce is hiring an attorney. Most people are not very knowledgeable about any legal processes surrounding divorce. That is, except for experienced attorneys. An attorney knows the ins and outs of divorce and can make sure that each step of the process is being followed accordingly. 

Plan Your Divorce Proceedings

Once you hire an attorney, your lawyer will help you create a plan for your divorce. Divorces are not simple to where you can expect that everything will work out without strategically planning everything out. It is essential that you review all your assets and identify what you wish to get from your marriage. This may include what you are willing to part with and what you simply require for your lifestyle. Your attorney may also help you ensure that you have all necessary documents prepared to file your petition. 

File A Petition for Divorce

After pre-planning for your divorce, you must file an official petition for divorce through the court system. This petition is called a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. When you do so, your spouse must be served divorce papers by someone with the authority to do so. Negotiations can begin at this point, either between your attorney and your spouse or your attorney and your spouse’s attorney if they choose to hire one. 

The Discovery Process

The stage in which you and your attorney gain access to knowledge of assets and debts that the other party has is called the discovery stage. Here, you will be presented with what your spouse has in assets and debts in writing. Your attorney will help you prepare the same documents for your spouse to review. For the divorce to continue equitably, both parties must disclose all assets and debts truthfully. 

Pre-Trial Divorce Settlements and Divorce Trial

If a trial is required, your attorney and the one representing your spouse will meet with a judge to discuss expected trial evidence. From this, they will make recommendations for negotiations and settlements that are consistent with the potential outcome of the trial. If settlements are not agreed upon, you will go to trial, and the courts will aid in the division of assets. 

Hire an Experienced Divorce Attorney

Nothing about divorce is simple. For guidance throughout a divorce, consider working with an experienced divorce attorney like those at Hammer Serna & Quinn, LLC. They can review your case, ensure that your assets are being protected, and that you have an equitable divorce. To schedule a consultation with our attorneys, contact us today. 

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