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Annapolis Family Law Blog

The first 3 basic steps of the divorce process

Even though the divorce process can and will differ from one couple to the next, it's important to remember that some details are pretty much the same across the board.

This is typically the case when it comes to the first three basic steps of the divorce process. Here is what you should expect:

  • You ask your spouse for a divorce or vice versa. Either way, the process kicks off when one or both individuals decide that they want to dissolve the marriage through divorce.
  • A petition for divorce is filed with the local court clerk. This identifies key details, such as the name of both individuals and whether they share any children. The person who files the petition is known as the petitioner. The other individual is referred to as the respondent.
  • Temporary divorce orders. While not always the case, the court has the ability to issue temporary orders that outline actions one or both individuals must take leading up to the divorce hearing.

How do you plan on asking for a divorce?

Deep down inside, you know that it's time to ask your spouse for a divorce. However, you also realize that this is one of the more difficult conversations you will have in your life.

The way you ask for a divorce may not be the same as the next person, but there are some tips you can follow to ease the stress and ensure that all the necessary details are taken care of:

  • Set a time for having the conversation, as you want to be in a quiet place where the two of you can have a serious conversation (without any interruptions or distractions)
  • Think about what you want to say in advance, which helps avoid a situation in which you're lost for words and stumbling to find your way
  • Be calm and direct, as this is the best way to get everything on the table and show your spouse that you mean business
  • Don't make jokes, because you don't want to give off the impression that you aren't serious about the divorce process

The divorce mediation process is not complicated

Just the same as litigation, many people look at divorce mediation and assume that they will face one challenge after the next.

While there is no denying the fact that you may face some issues every now and again, there's nothing complicated about the process and the way that it unfolds. In other words, the approach is straightforward, despite the fact that there may be some sticking points.

Divorce mediation can ease your stress, speed up the process

When you decide to move forward with a divorce, you may have visions of fighting with your spouse in court. While this could happen at some point, most people want to avoid this situation at all costs.

Divorce mediation is one of the best ways to extricate yourself from a bad marriage. It's a much less stressful method that can also hasten the divorce process.

Who will end up with the family home in divorce?

Once you decide to move forward with divorce, you'll immediately turn your attention to the impact it will have on your life. For example, you may have a variety of questions related to property division.

Like many, the first thing you will think about is who will get the family home. This is every bit as important as it sounds, as you want to have a clear idea of where you will live in the near future.

Don’t be surprised by these co-parenting challenges

The divorce process is every bit as challenging as it sounds. Adding to this, you can expect a bit more stress if you have at least one child with the individual.

Once your divorce is in the past, you'll still need to communicate with your ex-spouse to ensure that your child is always getting what he or she needs to thrive.

Divorce and the division of retirement benefits

Property division is often a sticking point during the divorce process. As you turn your attention to this detail, you'll come to find that retirement benefits may be among the largest assets that need to be divided.

There are many types of retirement benefits, including but not limited to: IRAs, pensions, 401(k)'s, securities, annuities and insurance contracts.

What’s the best way to fight for and win custody?

As you move through your divorce, you may be worried about what will happen in regards to child custody. While some people are open to whatever the court decides, others come to find that they won't settle for anything less than winning custody.

If this sounds familiar, it's important to understand the steps you can take to put yourself in better position.

Have you organized a property division checklist?

You should expect to face a variety of challenges during the divorce process, with property division at the top of the list.

Just as you're hoping to get your hands on as many assets as possible, your soon-to-be ex-spouse has the same intentions. This can make it difficult to work things out.

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