For some couples, getting a divorce is the best thing they can do for their family. The divorce process can be long and difficult, and if you have decided divorce is the best option, you must be prepared for the journey.
The first step in the process is contacting a lawyer. Your family and friends who have gone through the process may also be helpful. They will give you tips on how to start divorce proceedings. Even though the laws vary from one state to another, they aren’t very different. While it is crucial to take opinions from various people, please do not rely on information entirely unless it is from professionals.
Once you have a rough idea of what to expect, set realistic goals and begin the divorce process. Your Wilmington divorce attorney may work with you to create a plan.
Serve the Divorce Complaint
Every divorce starts with a complaint. The petitioner writes it and serves their spouse. After that, it is filed in a state court. Divorce petitions are important documents as they include all the relevant information regarding your marriage, including:
- The names of the spouses
- The names of the children, if any
- Separate and marital property
- Spousal support
- Child support
Consider asking your divorce lawyer for help when writing and serving the petition. The phase, known as the service of the process, may not seem important, but it is. If your spouse agrees to the divorce, they must sign to acknowledge receipt of service. If, however, you have trouble locating or finding them, consider hiring a professional process server. They will handle the service process on your behalf.
When the process is complete, the clock on your waiting period starts ticking. It establishes an automatic restraining order as well. That way, the date of separation is easy to establish. During this period, you cannot take your children out of state. You are also not allowed to sell or borrow insurance coverage held for your partner, borrow against your property, or sell any property.
Your partner, who is the defendant in a divorce case, can file a response to your complaint. However, it isn’t a requirement. A response often acts as proof that both parties are in agreement about the divorce. It reduces the likelihood of your case proceeding with no court hearing. Spouses that are in agreement about the divorce can save a lot of time and money.
If the respondent doesn’t respond in 30 days, you can set the case to be heard. The defendant may use their response to disagree with the details you entered in your complaint.
The Final Step
The divorce is finalized when the court enters judgment after the divorce has been properly noticed and set.
If you have any questions about divorce and the related proceedings, consider hiring a Wilmington divorce attorney. Give us a call, and we will guide you through the divorce process.