Divorce Milestones And What They Mean
Divorce is made up of several milestones, and each one gets you one step closer to being single. The entire process can take anywhere from a matter of months to a year more, depending on how complicated your situation might be. While it may be difficult to predict when it will all be over with, you can look forward to the below milestones along the way. Read on to learn more about some important events during your divorce and what to expect.
Separation – Whether you are still living together or not, the separation is more about your relationship than where you and your spouse are living. If you must stay under the same roof, for the time being, you can still be separated and begin the divorce process. If you are living apart, you should consider creating a legal separation agreement.
Hire a Lawyer – Never share a lawyer with your spouse, regardless of how well you may be getting along. Your financial and custody rights are too important for you to go without legal representation. Be sure you understand the fees and what is included in the lawyer's services.
Serve the Papers – Your attorney will prepare the papers that inform your spouse of your intentions to divorce them. The question of who files for divorce and who gets served is unimportant, at least as far as the law is concerned. You both have equal rights and standings no matter who filed on who.
Temporary Orders – You don't have to wait until the final decree to take care of things like child support, spousal support, who lives in the family home during the divorce, and other important questions. Any number of orders can provide temporary guidance on child custody, visitation, support, and more.
Mediation – If you and your spouse cannot agree on several issues, you may need to participate in mediation. In some cases, the judge actually orders warring couples to go to mediation. Here, a neutral third-party professional leads the couple in decisions about divisive matters.
Court – Both sides will have an opportunity to present their cases and have the judge decide on any issues that were not resolved outside of court. Going to court can be expensive and stressful, but is a must for some couples who cannot come to an agreement any other way.
Final Decree – This document summarizes all orders and legally separates you from your spouse.
Speak to a divorce attorney or visit a website like http://madisonlf.com to learn more.