Talk to a divorce lawyer before you make any decisions!
A local divorce attorney can help you understand your local divorce, custody, and child support laws and how they will affect your case. Fill out the form below to arrange a divorce case evaluation by a local attorney.
If you're like most people facing divorce, you have more questions than information. Even if you and your spouse have agreed on all of the terms of your divorce, you'll have to follow specific legal procedures to formally terminate your marriage.
Every divorce case is different, and specific laws vary from state to state, but divorce cases generally follow one of two paths. The parties may reach an agreement, submit that agreement to the court for approval, and receive a divorce decree ending their marriage and setting forth the terms they've agreed upon. Or, if the parties can't reach an agreement, the case will be scheduled for a contested hearing, where a judge will consider evidence like financial records, witness testimony, and expert reports on issues like valuation of property and custody arrangements.
To learn more, schedule a consultation with a divorce lawyer before you make any decisions.
A divorce case may be more complex than you imagine. Typically, a divorce proceeding begins when one party files a divorce petition with the court and has that petition served on the other spouse.
Then, depending on the circumstances and the complexity of the issues involved, a hearing may be scheduled to establish temporary orders. Temporary orders establish responsibility for payment of bills and expenses while the divorce is pending, short-term custody arrangements, temporary visitation schedules and child support, and any other issues that must be resolved right away in order to protect the health and assets of the parties during the divorce.
In some states, if the parties agree on all issues, a divorce case can be finalized in just a few weeks. In others, there is a mandatory waiting period between the filing of the divorce petition and the decree. If a contested hearing is required, a divorce case may take many months to resolve; some high-profile, high-asset cases with complex financial issues or hotly contested custody battles may take even longer.
A local divorce lawyer can explain the typical time sequence in your area and what you can expect as your divorce case moves forward.