A General Divorce Timeline
Are you getting a divorce? If so, you may want to consider hiring a family lawyer who understands the process, what is involved, and how to deal with complications that could arise. To speak with a member of our team, please call today.
A General Timeline of the Divorce Process
When two people are getting a divorce, they might not know what to expect. Divorce can be complicated and rife with surprises and frustration. Having a general idea of what might happen can ease some of your emotions and help you to feel more comfortable during this uncomfortable situation.
The following is a general timeline of the divorce process. Not all divorces will follow this same process, and yours could be different. The laws of your state or special circumstances might also alter this process.
- Beginning the Divorce – A divorce process typically begins after one spouse gets a lawyer. The lawyer will write a petition, or complaint, which is a legal document that specifies why the spouse wants a divorce and how they wish to settle custody, finances, assets, and other matters.
- Filing with the Court – The lawyer will file the petition with the court.
- Serving the Other Spouse – The lawyer or court will serve the other spouse with the petition and a summons. The summons is another document that requires a response from the other spouse.
- Once the spouse has been served, they must answer by a certain date. Their answer can essentially be an agreement with the petition or a denial. If the spouse does not answer, the court may assume he or she is in agreement. The answer should also include how the spouse would like to proceed with the divorce. At this time the served spouse might also retain a lawyer.
- Exchange of Documentation – Both spouses may exchange various information and documentation regarding income, property, assets, and more. Their lawyers might review these things and make recommendations for how everything should be divided. The spouses might also have a say in this. During this time, child custody, child support, and alimony might be considered. This is often one of the most complicated parts of a divorce. If not handled correctly, it could be very drawn out, costly, and emotionally strenuous.
- Mediation or Settlement – If everything is going smoothly, the spouses may resolve their issues through mediation or a settlement. Depending on the state you are in, you might be required to go through this process. If a settlement is reached, an informal hearing will be held. The judge will review the settlement, ask a few questions, and confirm that both parties wish to sign the agreement.
- The Judges Approval – If the agreement is approved by the judge, he or she will provide both spouses with a divorce decree. If the agreement is not approved, the case will need to go to trial.
- At Trial – Lawyers will present evidence and arguments for their client. The judge will make decisions about any unresolved issues which could include child custody, child support, visitation, alimony, debt, property division, and so forth. After the judge has stated his or her decision, the divorce is finalized.
- Appeal – Both spouses have the right to appeal a judge’s decision. This would mean the issue would need to be heard before a higher court. In general, an appeals court does not overturn a judge’s decision regarding a divorce case.
The steps above are very general. It is impossible to say how long each step will take in your case. Some divorces are settled within a few months. Others take years. Typically, the more a divorcing couple can compromise, the smoother the divorce will be.
Hiring a Divorce Lawyer to Get Efficient Results
Although you don’t need a divorce lawyer, it is recommended to have one on your side. This is especially true when the other party has already hired a lawyer. A divorce lawyer can guide you through the process and spot potential problems before they become real. A lawyer can also protect your reputation, financial security, parental rights, and overall rights. To speak with a divorce lawyer clients trusts, call today.
Are You Prepared for Your Divorce?
Nobody enjoys the divorce process, but divorce lawyers in Rockville, Maryland can make the whole ordeal a little bit smoother. Every divorce is different, and there could be numerous factors behind why you and your spouse have decided to separate. However, it’s important to recognize the signs that a divorce is coming ahead of time, so you have time to prepare for the worst.
At the Law Offices of Daniel J. Wright, we understand that a divorce is painful. However, we also understand that a divorce is no time to let your emotions overwhelm you. If you want to come out of a divorce with your assets (and your dignity) intact, it all comes down to proper planning and perception. Do you think a divorce is coming? Read on to learn about the warning signs, and how we can help.
We Just Aren’t as Intimate Anymore
Every relationship has hot and cold periods, and it’s common to lose interest in intimacy as we get older. However, if you and your spouse have experienced long spells without any kind of intimacy at all, it could be a warning sign about the stability of your relationship. If you and your spouse have lost that special spark that kept you two together, it could be time for a discussion about your intimacy – or it could be time to contact a divorce lawyer in Rockville, MD.
We Don’t Talk – About Anything
If you can’t talk to your spouse about intimacy because you can’t get your spouse to talk to you about anything at all, this is another major red flag. Couples have fights, whether their relationship is strong or not. When those fights stop altogether, it could mean that both of you are just too tired to maintain your marriage. There’s a difference between fighting less and not fighting at all because you never talk. Recognize this difference, and plan accordingly.
Feeling Contempt or Disgust
Out of all the (many) warning signs that a marriage is falling apart, feeling contempt or disgust towards your spouse is one of the most severe. Whatever the cause and whoever is feeling it worse, disgust towards a partner is a very difficult place to return from. If you feel nothing but hatred or contempt or disgust towards your spouse, it may mean it’s time to wrap things up and reach out to a divorce attorney.
What Should I Do if I Notice these Signs?
Unfortunately, the above examples aren’t the only signs of a failing relationship. There are countless other hints that a marriage is headed for trouble, and it can be a major challenge to overcome these hurdles if you’re trying to save your relationship. If you think things are too far gone and you suspect a divorce is imminent, you shouldn’t let yourself be overwhelmed. Instead, you should take time to plan for the challenges of a divorce – and you should contact a lawyer who can walk you through the process.
Reach Out to the Law Offices of Daniel J. Wright
At the Law Offices of Daniel J. Wright, we know that divorces can take people by surprise. However, we also know the importance of planning ahead and learning all you can about divorce so if and when you’re served with those divorce papers, you don’t fall to pieces. With the help of experienced divorce lawyers in Rockville, MD, you can put your life together before it falls apart in the first place. Contact us today.