When May I File For Divorce?

You have started legal proceedings against your spouse as soon as you file for divorce. Therefore, it is implied that you may have challenged your spouse when you submit a divorce petition.

Your spouse might or might not sign the divorce documents when they are presented to him or her. If he/she signs the documents, the divorce is uncontested; nevertheless, it is contentious if they are not signed. Read on to find out more about this.

What the Difference Is Between Filing for an Uncontested and Contested Divorce

In an uncontested divorce, the spouses reach a decision and concur on all issues, including:

  • parental strategy
  • Alimony, or maintenance for the spouse
  • Child assistance
  • Division of marital assets
  • divorce debt distribution

When there is a disagreement between the spouses on any of the aspects of the divorce, it is deemed disputed. When the matter is contested, it is brought before the courts, who decide everything on behalf of the spouses.

Step-by-Step Guide to Uncontested Divorce

  • The couple agrees on all of the aforementioned divorce-related issues.
  • Their divorce attorneys create the divorce agreement of settlement.
  • One spouse submits the court documents and other paperwork to the courts.
  • The other spouse receives the service of process.
  • The opposite partner accepts the conditions.
  • A stipulation, which is a contract between the two spouses, is then submitted by each spouse.
  • The court examines the paperwork.
  • The court judge signs the separation order (the divorce is complete) if the settlement of the divorce arrangement is just.

Step-by-Step Guide to Contested Divorce 

  • Upon one or more aspects of the divorce, spouses cannot agree.
  • By filing a divorce application to the courts, one spouse initiates a divorce.
  • The other spouse receives the service of process.
  • The other spouse submits a counter-petition as well as an answer.
  • The appropriate data (disclosures, records of finances, affirmations) is shared between the spouses.
  • Either both parties attend mediation, or a move to excuse mediation is submitted.
  • When the time is right, one spouse submits an acknowledgment of preparedness for trial if the problem has not been addressed after the discovery phase and potentially the custody evaluation process.
  • Then, after updating their disclosures, financial information, documents needed for child support payments, and declarations, each spouse files their interpretation of the proposed settlement.
  • Both spouses attend a pre-trial conference.
  • When the case is tried, the judge makes the final decision.
  • If retirement savings need to be dispersed or allocated, the spouses submit a QDRO.
  • Whether the divorce is challenged or not, everything proceeds in accordance with state legislation.