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A Quick Overview of the Divorce Process

Are you wondering what to expect out of your upcoming divorce? Here’s a general step-by-step overview of how the process works:

  1. Filing the petition. The first step in any divorce is filing a divorce petition. Only one of the spouses actually needs to file the petition in court.
  2. Temporary orders. Depending on your circumstances, you might seek temporary orders for child support, child custody or spousal support. If there has been domestic violence in your relationship, a temporary order of protection might be necessary.
  3. Service of process. At this point, the divorce papers are served to the other party. If you have already mutually agreed to divorce, the party who files the petition typically arranges for the papers to be served to the attorney of the other party.
  4. The party who receives the papers needs to file a response to the petition. This response will include disagreements about support, custody, property division or any other potential issue.
  5. Both parties come together to attempt to negotiate their differences. If both parties are able to come to an agreement that works for them, the divorce comes to an end. If the differences are still irreconcilable, the case will go to court.
  6. This step only becomes necessary when the couple cannot resolve their differences in negotiation. Trial makes the case significantly longer and more expensive, and it gives both parties much less control over what’s contained in their divorce decree. Therefore, it’s always best to avoid going to trial whenever possible.
  7. Order of dissolution. At this point, the marriage is officially ended and there is a detailed decree outlining the division of property and debt, how child custody will be arranged and who will pay child or spousal support (and in what amounts).

For more information on how the divorce process works, contact a trusted family law attorney with Jakubowski, Robertson, Maffei, Goldsmith & Tartaglia at the firm’s Long Island office.


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