Steps Involved in the Divorce Process
If you and your spouse have fell upon hard times and have been considering divorce you should be asking yourself if you know everything that is involved within the divorce process. Meeting with our experienced divorce lawyers at Larsen Law Firm in Provo, Utah can give you a better understanding of the process and what is involved. Listed below are some of the steps that are involved in most divorce cases.
Some states do not have laws that allow a couple to participate in a legal separation. In those states, you are married until a court decides otherwise. If your state laws allow couples to separate legally when one or the other spouse leaves the family residence your attorney will petition the courts for a separation agreement. This agreement protects the interests of both spouses and any children of the marriage by making sure that both parties meet their legal responsibilities to each other.
Original Petition to Divorce
If your state doesn’t allow for legal separation you can take the first step in your divorce and file an original petition to divorce. The original petition will identify the parties to the divorce and any children they may have. The party filing for divorce will have to state a reason as part of the petition or letter. The person filing for the divorce will be named the “petitioner” by the courts while the other party to the divorce is referred to as the “respondent” or, in some states, the “defendant.” The original petition or letter of complaint is then served on the respondent. Once the respondent has been served he/she has thirty days to hire an attorney and respond to the original petition for divorce. It is at this time that either party may ask for restraining orders, protective orders or temporary orders pertaining to child support and alimony.
Divorce Discovery is a legal mechanism designed for gathering information about either party to the divorce. There are five steps to the discovery process; Disclosures, Interrogatories, Admissions of Fact, and Request for Production.
During mediation, both parties to the divorce and their attorneys meet to discuss any conflicts they may have and try to come to an agreement that meets the needs of both. The “mediator” is a court appointed attorney or arbitrator and is there to negotiate a settlement between the parties. If all goes well this could be the last step in the divorce process.
If mediation didn’t work and there are unresolved issues a trial date will be set. During the trial, both parties have the chance to argue their case before a judge. The judge will then examine all the evidence and make a decision based on what he feels would be a proper divorce settlement and outcome.
For more information regarding the divorce process you can call our office and schedule a consultation with one of our divorce lawyers at Larsen Law Firm in Provo, Utah today.