Divorce proceedings vary by your state of residence. In most locations, the process for filing divorce are the same. In addition, some states will recognize a legal separation while other states will not. Some states require a waiting period before a divorce proceeding can begin and may require a period of legal separation. In states that allow dissolution of a marriage, both parties complete a joint petition.
In most cases, an individual desiring a divorce should consult with an attorney before beginning a divorce process. Even if you do not feel, you will require attorney services during the divorce, if the paperwork is not completely correctly you could run into difficulties.
Filing a divorce petition
To begin actual process for filing divorce, the individual requesting a divorce must submit an “Original Petition for Divorce” with the local county clerk’s office. Some states refer to the document as a “Letter of Complaint”. Even if both parties desire a divorce, only one party begins the legal proceedings. A counter-suit may be filed.
The individual that files the initial petition or request for a divorce is referred to as the petitioner. The second party in the proceeding is referred to as the defendant or respondent. The petition must be filled out completely, including the full names of both parties involved. A reason for the divorce request is also required.
Additional information may also be required for completion of the divorce petition. The petitioner may be required to include any relief requested. Relief includes child custody, and financial and property settlements. For this reason, it is wise to have an attorney draw up complex divorce petitions.
Payment is required for the paperwork at the time of filing. After the petition has been accepted by the clerk of courts, the respondent will be served with the divorce request. At this stage, most states allow 30 days for both parties to gather any necessary paperwork and prepare for the initial court date.
Washington D.C., Connecticut, Louisiana, Maryland, and North Carolina are among the states with a waiting period required in the process for filing divorce. North Carolina requires that a couple be separated for one year before a divorce petition may be filed. The District of Columbia requires that a couple be living apart for six months or living separate and apart for one year. The state does allow a couple to be sharing a home, just not a bed or food to qualify as separate and apart.
Get more information or Speak with your local Divorce Lawyer.