Every divorce is different. The financial and parenting issues are unique in every divorce. However, the end result is always the same: From shared lives to separate lives.
The Law Offices of Raymond Hovsepian will help you make the journey as smoothly as possible.
The divorce process (officially called dissolution of marriage) starts when husband or wife files a Petition.
The person filing a Petition states that they want a divorce and what they are seeking in terms of property, child custody, support, etc.
There is absolutely no advantage to filing first.
Once a Petition is filed then the other spouse has 30 days to file a Response. The Response also states what the Respondent spouse wants in terms of child custody, support, etc.
After the Petition and Response, either spouse may ask the court for temporary orders relating to the children, property, bank accounts, and other issues. Temporary orders may be made by the judge or the spouses may agree on some or all issues in contention. A mutual agreement is preferable because it eliminates the uncertainty of how a judge may rule.
It is crucial that you hire an attorney competent in the area of family law to guide through this process.
The next step is deciding whether there will be litigation or negotiation. Will the parties fight it out through adversarial litigation or can the parties set aside personal feelings long enough to negotiate outside of court? If the parties want to work together and minimize the pain associated with divorce and custody fights then they can turn to mediation.
Mediation is a process in which a professional mediator, usually an experienced attorney, attempts to amicably resolve all issues between the spouses, without the need of costly court appearances. The mediator does not represent either side and is a neutral.
If mediation is not possible then the court will decide all issues in contention by conducting a trial. Judges normally will try to push the parties into an agreement on some issues in order to minimize the time spent on the contentious ones.
After all issues have been resolved, either through agreement or trial, a judgment for dissolution of marriage is issued and the parties are officially divorced.
Practice Area: Family Law