Getting divorced can be one of the most difficult things a person can go through. That's why it's important to have the professional expertise of someone who understands the process. This is true even for a no-fault divorce. While a no-fault divorce can seem like it would be easy, especially if you and your spouse are amicable, that doesn't mean legal challenges can't arise now or in the future if your relationship amicability changes. A divorce lawyer will help you avoid big problems with three important steps.
The Initial Consultation
It's not uncommon for a couple to apply for a no-fault divorce only to find that their legal situation is more complicated. An initial consultation with a divorce lawyer will involve you and the lawyer going over the legal details of your marriage situation. This interview will involve evaluating your marital assets, child custody, and other issues that may arise in the near future. If it is determined you will be able to get divorced using the no-fault process, you will be able to move forward to mediation.
Drafting the Paperwork
Many no-fault divorces require no formal mediation. Many times the parties will have their lawyers hash out the terms and draft up a stipulation agreement of those terms. If there are no children involved and very few or no assets, many times the lawyers will simply draft up a stipulation agreement with standardized legal language in it. This will usually require no mediation. Once a stipulation agreement is written, the parties must simply sign and notarize it, and from that agreement, the final order of the divorce (known as a Decree of Divorce) will be drafted. Both the stipulation document and the Decree of Divorce are submitted to the court together with other standard divorce documents that go with a no-fault divorce.
Service and Filing
Service may require a formal process of service through a constable or a process service company. Your spouse will need to be served the Petition for Divorce once it is filed with the court. Many lawyers will submit the petition, the stipulation agreement, and other documents in one packet that can be reviewed all at once. In cases where couples are amicable, this process may be less formal. One of the parties may come to the office of the other party's lawyer and sign documents. Once everything is processed and served, a judge will be able to review the documents. In some states, depending on the judge's docket, a divorce can be signed and finalized within a couple of weeks.
Not having enough information and not having the proper paperwork and filing done could lead to issues now and in the future. Reach out to firms like the Law Offices of Jamie L. Hazlett & Associates to get help.