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What Steps are Involved in the Divorce Process?

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  • Written By: Patti Kate
  • Edited By: W. Everett
  • Last Modified Date: 23 September 2017
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2017
    Conjecture Corporation
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A divorce process is not the same for every couple, and many factors may determine the necessary steps involved. For instance, some couples prefer to complete online divorce forms. Internet divorce papers may be convenient and save time, although there are factors to consider when choosing this method. Others may decide upon a legal separation before initiating a final divorce. Understanding the laws, which vary from state to state or in various regions, will be helpful for the couple during the divorce process.

The procedure for couples who file for a divorce without the assistance of an attorney will differ somewhat from traditional divorce proceedings. Serving as one's own attorney is referred to in the legal system as pro se, and requires a good deal of preparation. Some individuals choose this option to avoid attorney fees or when there are no measurable assets or child custody rights involved. Being familiar with the divorce laws of one's home state is essential in this matter.

Whomever files for the divorce, otherwise known as the petitioner, also needs to familiarize himself with the basics, such as where to obtain the petition and other responsibilities. One such responsibility will be to decide how to contact the spouse regarding the impending divorce petition. Any grounds for divorce will be officially filed by the petitioner.

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If couples use legal representation for a divorce, finding a good lawyer is a crucial first step. A competent lawyer can advise the individual on his rights within the law of his state. An attorney can also advise of any steps necessary to obtain a restraining order or temporary custody rights, if applicable.

Basically, there are two main scenarios that may occur during the divorce process. The couple may reach a mutual understanding regarding all necessary decisions and may settle out of court. If a mutual decision cannot be reached, a judge will decide the outcome and present his final decision. In some cases, witnesses may testify in court.

Some individuals experiencing a difficult time emotionally with a divorce may prefer to obtain counseling. This is designed to help the individual cope with the emotional distress resulting from the divorce process. If there are children involved, special counseling programs or support groups can help children cope during this difficult time.

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