How is a Divorce Started?

Posted by admin on April 27th, 2006

If you have decided to get a divorce, the very first thing you should do is talk with an attorney or seek legal counsel. Each state has their own set of rules and laws governing divorce cases and understanding what is involved in a divorce case is very important. Before you do consult an attorney, be sure you really want a divorce, do not waste your time and your attorney’s time, not to mention the money you will spend if you are only doing this to scare your spouse, or show them you want things to change.

When you are ready to begin the divorce, you will need to visit with your attorney and bring important information with you, so he can get your divorce started. You will need full names of you, your spouse, and any children, the date you were married, the current address where you live and your spouse is residing (if at another residence), any birth records of any minor children. Your attorney will also need information as to why you want a divorce.

Other information that is important is the property that has been acquired during the divorce this can include any and all tangible or intangible items, such as cars, clothing, pensions, life insurance, stocks, rental property, vacation property or anything else of value. You should remember to mention everything that you believe has value or that you have interest in. This could be as simple as family photos or a large stamp collection that you both collected. If you do not mention these, you may not be able to claim an interest in these items when you go to trial.

If you had property going into the marriage you should also mention this and let your attorney know each item you had prior to your marriage. You also should not mention any items that your spouse had in their possession prior to the marriage unless you have accumulated a part of it since the marriage, such as a stamp collection. Your spouse may have had the stamp collection prior to your marriage, but since you have been married, you have also contributed to the collection and increased the value of the stamp collection. This increase was incurred during the marriage.

Your attorney will compile all of this information and put it into a document called a complaint or a petition. They will then file the document with the court clerk. The clerk will then issue a case number to your divorce. Now, this document must be presented to your spouse along with a summons. The summons is another document that will be issued by the court clerk that just states that the person is being sued. This can be done by you personally handing the petition and the summons to court in their hand, do not leave it on their door, or you can have a third party such as a sheriff,  hand the document to your spouse. After the document has been given to your spouse, the person that gave the petition must file a proof of service with the court clerk. Now, your divorce has started.

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