More than 90% of people get married before they reach the age of 50. But how many of those marriages end in divorce?

The common assumption is half of the marriages end up in divorce. There was a time when that was true. However, now the divorce rate is dropping.

No one wants to think of divorce during their happy married years. But it could happen to even the happiest of couples. If you’re one of the ones who end up getting divorced, you should know what to expect.

Here’s everything you need to know about the processes of divorce and the necessary steps you have to take.

Separation

The first step in a divorce is separating from your spouse. This usually involves in you two living separately and even dating other people. You don’t need a lawyer or to attend court during this phase. This is because you’re both legally married.

Separation is the process when you and your spouse truly decide if you want to endure divorce or try and work things out. Most couples separate for at least a year before making the decision.

Petition for Divorce

If you decide to divorce your spouse after separation, you have to file a petition. You file this document with your local court clerk.

This petition grants the court to allow a divorce. The party filing will have to state a reason for the divorce, even if it’s just “incompatibility.”

You can also list any relief that you believe is due. You’ll have to include your children in this petition, if you have any.

From here, the petition is sent to the respondent, or your spouse you’re divorcing from. You both have the right to an attorney and you have 30 days to request alimony, child support orders, and restraining or protective orders.

Divorce Discovery

This process gathers information from both spouses. The discovery process is separated into steps. These steps include:

  • Disclosures
  • Interrogations
  • Admissions of fact
  • Request for production

These steps entail requesting certain items from either spouse, any questions that need answered, admitting and/or denying facts, and obtaining specific documents such as statements of income and bank statements.

After this step, an attorney can take a deposition, or sworn testimony.

Mediation

Mediation is when the spouse meets with their lawyers outside of court. The spouses can come to an agreement and/or a settlement.

This step often gets confused with the trial. If mediation is successful, the court is often not required. Click here to discover the differences.

Court

If you had an unsuccessful mediation, both spouses will have to attend divorce court. You’ll state your unresolved issues in front of a judge who will determine the best situation for both spouses and their children, if applicable.

Processes of Divorce: Not as Scary as It Seems

Enduring a divorce is never fun. But it’s vital you understand the processes of divorce so you can prepare. Hopefully, you can resolve everything during mediation and don’t need to attend court.

Continue reading our blog for more legal advice and you should know about filing for divorce.

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