No one ever enters into a marriage thinking it will end in divorce, but unfortunately, it happens all too often. If you are facing a divorce, you may feel overwhelmed and confused about what to do next. This blog post offers a walkthrough of the divorce process so you can better understand what to expect.
Talk to a lawyer
Understanding how to navigate the divorce process alone can be complicated and overwhelming. So, you can talk to a lawyer who can help you throughout the process and ensure your rights are protected. They will also guide you in understanding the grounds for divorce which can vary from one place to another. According to reputable divorce lawyers in Brisbane, grounds for divorce in Australia include adultery, unreasonable behavior, and separation for a minimum of 12 months. If you are no longer living with your spouse for at least 12 months, you can file for divorce without proving that the other person did anything wrong. However, if you have been separated for less than 12 months, you must provide evidence to the court that there are grounds for divorce. You can do this by providing proof of adultery or unreasonable behavior.
In other countries such as the United States, grounds for divorce can vary from state to state. For example, some states recognize no-fault divorces while others do not. In a no-fault divorce, neither party needs to prove that the other did anything wrong in order to get divorced. All that is required is that the couple agrees to end their marriage. Some states require a waiting period before they finalize a divorce, which usually allows the couple time to reconcile if they so choose. After the divorce is final, it is crucial to understand that there are certain things that cannot be undone. For example, you will no longer be able to share your health insurance with your ex-spouse, which means you will need to get your own.
File for divorce
Once you have spoken to a lawyer, one spouse must file a petition for divorce with the court to begin the divorce process. The court must then serve the petition to the other spouse. Once this has been done, the other spouse has 30 days to respond to the divorce petition. If they do not respond within this timeframe, the court can assume that they do not contest the divorce and proceed accordingly.
After the divorce petition has been filed and served, both spouses will need to complete a financial disclosure form. This form requires each spouse to list their assets and debts, income, and expenses. This information is necessary so the court can determine how to divide the couple’s property and obligations and whether or not spousal support will be awarded.
For this reason, you must ensure that your financial records are up-to-date and accurate. So, before filing for divorce, you need to gather all of your financial documents such as tax returns, pay stubs, bank statements, and investment records. Tax returns are especially important as they will show the court what your income was for the past few years. Pay stubs will show your current income, and bank statements will show your assets. Your investment records will show the court what, if any, retirement accounts or other investments you have. If these are all conjugal assets, then the court will need to determine how to divide them between the two of you.
● Discovery phase
The discovery phase is when each spouse can request information from the other about their assets, debts, income, and expenses. You can obtain this information through financial disclosure forms or formal discovery requests such as depositions and interrogatories. Once this information has been exchanged, the next step is to negotiate a settlement.
Attend a mediation meeting
The next step in the divorce process is to attend a mediation meeting wherein both spouses, and their lawyers meet with a mediator to try to agree on the divorce’s terms. If the couple has children, they will also need to reach an agreement on child custody and visitation. The mediator will help the couple to communicate with each other and try to reach an agreement that is fair to both parties. If the couple cannot agree at mediation, they may need to go to court, where a judge will make the decisions. But, if an agreement is reached, it will be put in writing and signed by both parties.
After mediation, both spouses will need to complete a separation agreement. This legal document outlines the terms of the divorce, such as property division, child custody, and support. For example, when it comes to property division, the agreement will state who gets what property and how any debts will be divided. With child custody, the contract will say who the children will live with and how much time they will spend with each parent. The separation agreement will also outline how much spousal support, if any, will be paid. Once this agreement is signed, your lawyers will submit this to the court for approval.
Finalize the divorce
Once all of the necessary paperwork has been filed with the court, a hearing will be scheduled. At this hearing, the judge will review the terms of the divorce and either approve or deny it. This is the time when both parties will need to have their lawyers present. If the divorce is approved, the judge will sign a decree of divorce which will make it official. Your lawyers will then file the divorce decree with the court. This officially ends the marriage and both parties are now free to remarry. When the divorce is granted, each party will receive a copy of the divorce decree.
Divorce can be a complex and emotionally charged process. However, it is crucial to understand the process to prepare you for what to expect. If you have any questions about divorce, be sure to speak with a qualified lawyer in your jurisdiction. Rest assured that with some knowledge and preparation, you can get through the divorce process with relative ease.