Contemplating divorce and actually taking action to dissolve a marriage are two completely different things. Many people may consider divorce at some point, but if one believes it’s time to take the next step and file paperwork, there are some things to be aware of. By knowing more about how the legal process works, one can be better prepared emotionally and understand more about what needs to be done.
Taking the first step
When one decides on proceeding with a divorce, the first step is to file the divorce petition in the state where at least one party meets the residency requirements. The filer of the paperwork, or the petitioner, formally asks the court to dissolve the marriage and includes information on the legal reason for filing. The guidelines for this can vary from state to state based on whether you file for an at-fault or no-fault divorce. Then, the other party is served with the divorce paperwork, and proof of service is provided to the court.
Things that make divorce even harder
Finalizing a divorce can take over a year, or longer if there are many issues to work through. Couples with minor children must settle custody arrangements and child support. Spousal support is also a consideration in some circumstances. These issues can be resolved quickly through temporary orders but will have to be dealt with on a more permanent basis either through mediation or through a trial. Once agreements are made, the divorce can be finalized by a judge.
Those living in Maryland who are contemplating filing for divorce can benefit from legal counsel. An experienced family law attorney is invaluable when one is going through such a difficult time. They can help with understanding the process and with pursuing the necessary action to work toward an agreeable divorce settlement.