While crystal balls are in short supply, you can still get a good idea of what will happen when you get divorced. No matter what, the process is pretty much the same with only the amount of time that it takes to resolve issues causing any uncertainties. You might stress out over the fear of the unknown, but there's no need to do that. Read on for a short primer on how events will unfold with your divorce, which should help you to move more confidently forward with the process.
Separate and make it legal
Separation can be a tumultuous time and to protect your finances you'll need to get an agreement in place. Legal separation agreements solidify arrangements dealing primarily with financial matters, but it may also address issues like child custody and who gets to live in the family during the time leading up to the divorce being final.
If you have children, you are entitled to be paid child support, and you may also have spousal support ordered to fill the gap between separation and the final decree. A major bone of contention during the divorce is money, so be sure your agreement states a date after which you are not responsible for your spouse's spending, such as with credit card use.
Serve the papers
Whoever strikes first is the plaintiff, and they get to serve the other with divorce papers. This document spells out some basic information about the two spouses, any minor children and sometimes a reason for the divorce. Known in some places as the petition or letter of complaint, this process serves as the first official action of divorce.
Some divorces are simple with the couple owning and owing very little, but some are more complicated and contentious. That is where the discovery phase comes in. Here, each side requests information about financial issues in some cases a deposition is held.
More and more family law courts are ordering couples to go through this process of settling issues outside of court, but it's a good idea to do so anyway. The cost of using a conflict resolution specialist to help to work out problems will pale in comparison to the cost of hashing it out before a judge.
This can consist of a single visit, but in cases where there are contentious factors, it might take several days or weeks to come to a conclusion.
When all is said and done you will have the official paperwork codified by the judge and spelling out all orders and provisions in regard to debt, property, child custody, visitation and child support and much more.
For more information, contact your local high asset divorce professionals.