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What happens during the process of a divorce?

When a couple decides to file for divorce, they begin a legal process that is often confusing and complicated. However, there are specific steps that are taken during the divorce that allow the couple to formally end their marriage. Sometimes this process can take a long time; other times this can be a quick process. But in any case, there is a timeline that is followed. Let’s examine it, shall we?

A divorce begins with one of the spouses filing a complaint explaining why they want to divorce and how they think the divorce should be handled. Once this is submitted to a court, the court files a summons for the other spouse, requiring them to response to the complaint.

The other spouse has a few weeks (usually) to respond to the complaint. If they don’t answer, then it is assumed that they agree with the other spouse’s complaint. If they don’t agree with it, then they must explain why and how they think the divorce should be handled.

At this point, the spouses will exchange critical information and the settlement process will begin. They may enter mediation, but it isn’t a necessary step — it is simply an option. Once they agree upon a divorce settlement, it is shown to a judge who will either approve it or reject it. If it is rejected, the divorce will go to trial, where the judge will make ultimate decisions on all of the issues inherent to the spouses’ divorce before finally granting the divorce.

Remember, this is a general outline of how divorces go. Every case is unique, and certain steps could go differently depending on your situation.

Source: FindLaw, “A Divorce Timeline,” Accessed Dec. 24, 2015

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