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The first 3 basic steps of the divorce process

Even though the divorce process can and will differ from one couple to the next, it's important to remember that some details are pretty much the same across the board.

This is typically the case when it comes to the first three basic steps of the divorce process. Here is what you should expect:

  • You ask your spouse for a divorce or vice versa. Either way, the process kicks off when one or both individuals decide that they want to dissolve the marriage through divorce.
  • A petition for divorce is filed with the local court clerk. This identifies key details, such as the name of both individuals and whether they share any children. The person who files the petition is known as the petitioner. The other individual is referred to as the respondent.
  • Temporary divorce orders. While not always the case, the court has the ability to issue temporary orders that outline actions one or both individuals must take leading up to the divorce hearing.

After these steps are out of the way, you'll work toward divorce mediation or litigation. Most people try to work things out in mediation, as this gives them more control over the process, as well as the ability to move forward in a more timely manner.

When you prepare yourself for the divorce process, you won't be surprised by anything that happens along the way. Instead, you'll feel as good as you can about where things stand, what's to come next and the steps you can take to put yourself in better position.

Source: Live About, "8 Steps Involved in the Divorce Process," accessed Jan. 11, 2018

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