The divorce process starts when one or both partners to file a petition in a local court. He or she will then file the complaint, which consists of a statement detailing all the grounds for the divorce, including whatever allegations have been made against one or the other partner. Once the complaint is filed, it will be served to each party, who may not accept it. If neither does, a judge will then decide upon the matter and schedule a preliminary hearing, where each party can air their positions before a judge. If both do accept the complaint, they will both be given a date to appear before the judge at a pre-hearing conference, which can either be in a small courtroom or some other place chosen by the parties.
The hearing itself is generally short but can last several hours. Either party can ask to have an attorney accompany them to the hearing to assist with preparing their defense. If no such attorney is present, a temporary court order will be put into effect that will provide for supervised visitation rights and other basic necessities during the divorce process. If either parent requests supervised visitation, the court will inform the concerned parent and make arrangements accordingly.
At this point, the parties are typically informed that they have thirty-five days to respond to the complaint, if they have one, or else go to trial. In divorce proceedings, responses to a complaint are not always required to prove the truth of what has been alleged against one or the other party. Instead, both sides are required to submit documents to the court that prove their position, and these statements become evidence when the case goes to trial. If neither party is willing to offer such documents, a judge can issue a default judgment, which means he will rule in favor of either party and award the divorce. A judge can issue a temporary agreement that will last until a final hearing.
If no agreement is reached, a judge will issue a custody order that will specify how physical custody will be divided between the parties. In a child custody hearing, both parents will be asked to present proof that they are the child’s real parents. Once both sides agree on custody and the judge rules in favor of one or the other, a Temporary Custody Order will be issued.
Child support is another component of a divorce process. This is also one of the more difficult areas of a divorce to amicably resolve. Both parties need to present information and forms to the court as to how they plan to pay the child support. If one spouse is not able to pay, this must be reported to the court and the other spouse must then obtain their own court ordered child support. However, if both spouses agree on a payment plan, the court may accept a structured settlement payment.
There are many things to consider when getting a Divorce Attorney. Divorce is a significant event in your life and it is important to choose a Divorce Attorney that is knowledgeable, compassionate and experienced. Hiring an Attorney who has knowledge and experience with the laws in your state will ensure that your divorce proceeding will be a pleasant experience. If you are considering a divorce, you are probably already experiencing many ups and downs such as coping with depression, financial difficulties, marital problems, time away from your children, anger, resentment and custody battles. A good Divorce Attorney can make all the upsides of the divorce process work for you.