How To File For Divorce

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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How to file for divorce will depend on the particulars of the situation. Where do you live? Are any children involved? How much common property is involved? Is the divorce what you both want or is someone at fault? Divorce laws are different from state to state. Sometimes the best way to look up the particular forms you need is online.

How to File for Divorce--Common Steps

The first step in any divorce, whether no-fault or fault, is a petition filed with the court requesting divorce. Which divorce you file for depends on both your personal circumstances and your state. Seven states offer only at-fault divorce. Twenty states offer only no-fault divorce.

The second step involves, as may be applicable, requesting temporary orders for support and custody. This can be requested at the same time as the petition. If it is not, it should be filed as soon as possible. The third step in how to file for divorce is called service of process. It attests to the second party being informed that the petition for divorce has been filed and is significant only in a fault divorce.

The fourth step in how to file for divorce is response to service of process. In it, the responding party will refute alleged grounds or assert defense or set down requests for property division, child custody, or alimony. If the spouses do not agree on all involved issues, the fifth step is negotiation to resolve the items in dispute. The potential sixth step is a trial, in which matters not resolved are determined by the court. The final step is dissolution of the marriage.


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