Divorce is sometimes a complex process with a lot of steps to keep track of before it is final. It is not easy to go through a divorce, both because of the emotions and because of the challenges of the legal process itself.
The steps to divorce start with legal separation. This is a kind of pre-divorce in which the couple lives separately. This is a precursor to the divorce settlement and opens court proceedings for managing childcare, assets and other family matters. Next comes a petition for divorce. It is served by one partner on the other, who then has the opportunity to hire a lawyer and prepare.
After that, a judge looks over the paperwork and writes a temporary divorce order, which might have orders about arranging matters to prepare for divorce as well as a waiting period to cool off. Next comes discovery where the lawyers find information and evidence, followed by depositions, which are sworn statements from witnesses.
The parties can try mediation, which is often a cheaper way to legally resolve divorce settlements. If mediation fails, they go to court, and the lawyers and the judge work out the details. The whole process is important; errors in paperwork or timing can cause delays, so getting lawyers involved may help to minimize errors.
Couples can sometimes save a lot of time and money by solving everything in mediation, but this is not always possible. The more amicable the couple is when they decide to divorce, the easier it will typically be to proceed without issues and reduce legal costs, so working together is beneficial for everyone involved.