Understanding The Major Steps In The Divorce Process
While some divorces may seem to be finalized right after they are filed, there are many steps in the process that take place. Even before you file for divorce, it is in your best interests to consult with an attorney to fully understand what to expect and whether divorce is right for you.
At Terri Herron Law, we understand how important the decision to divorce is and the impact that it will have on your life, family and future. We are dedicated to helping our Atlanta area clients know they are not alone in this process. Our firm strives to help you make decisions that are in your best interests personally, legally and financially and assist you in confidently moving forward.
Important Milestones To Know
Once you or the other party has decided to file for divorce, the process typically goes as follows:
- Divorce is filed: Once it is determined whether the divorce is contested or uncontested, your attorney will file the formal paperwork with the court requesting the divorce. Your spouse will be served with the papers as notification that a divorce has been filed.
- Response to divorce filing: The other party in the divorce is required to respond to the filing within 30 days. If no response is received, the divorce will move forward and issues will be settled at the court’s discretion.
- Gathering evidence and information: Both parties go through a phase called discovery. This is the process through which information and evidence is gathered that will support your position on child custody, child support, property division, alimony (spousal support) and any other marital issues that must be settled as part of the divorce process.
- Mediation or temporary hearings: Temporary hearings may be held in court to decide on issues while the divorce is in progress. This helps to provide structure for the process. Mediation may also be attempted at this time if both parties agree. If the divorce cannot be resolved and finalized in mediation, the case moves to trial.
- Final trial or finalization of mediation agreement: The final trial is held so a judge can make permanent decisions on the issues in the divorce after hearing from both sides. A final divorce decree can then be issued. If the case was handled in mediation, the last step in the process is to finalize the mediation agreement and issue a divorce decree.