Do you feel like you want to ask your spouse for a divorce? If so, you may not be sure what happens after you make the request. The divorce process is not something that happens quickly, and you'll likely need a lawyer to help sort out all of the legal matters involved. Here is what you can expect to happen when getting divorced.
You'll start the process by filing a formal divorce petition. It is typically done by the person that is requesting the divorce and is where you state why you want to get divorced. Every state has its own rules about why someone is allowed to get divorced, so there will be sure to be a formal reason that your divorce would qualify under.
The other spouse will need to be served papers notifying them of the divorce, and they will have to respond to it to say if they agree or not. The divorce will then either become contested or uncontested depending on what the other person agrees with.
The Waiting Period
Be aware that there are some states that require a waiting period before you get divorced. If you live in a state like Illinois or Virginia, there is actually a waiting period of six months before the divorce can happen. Other states, like Nevada, require a year-long waiting period. There are even states that require a legal separation before you are allowed to get divorced. It's important to understand your local laws you will know what to expect.
You'll want to work closely with a divorce attorney to go through the mediation process. Contrary to what you may believe, divorces do not always go to court to solve disputes. Many issues are resolved in mediation while both parties can talk things through. Mediation means that both parties have control over the outcome and can come to joint decisions, rather than allowing a judge to make decisions for you. The mediation process will involve deciding how you will split property and other joint assets.
Some aspects of your divorce process will require the assistance of a judge to make a final decision. While you may have made a joint decision on spousal support and child support in mediation, a judge will rule on if what you decided on was fair. This is to ensure that the spouse receiving support does not take a bad deal on future support payments.