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Legal Separation, Divorce Petition and Fees

Divorce begins when couples begin to see things separately and their relationship begins its break down. But this is not recognized by the law. When one of the divorcing couples, files a divorce petition in the Family Court does the divorce proceedings begin in earnest.

Divorce laws are under state jurisdiction and hence vary from one state to another. This filing of divorce has to be done after satisfying domicile and residency requirements of the concerned state. The petition for divorce is a very important document that has to be filled in with accurate information and should state the grounds of divorce under which divorce is being requested.

Different states recognize different grounds and you should be sure that grounds under which you are requesting for divorce is acceptable in the concerned state. The petition should be accompanied by a filing fee of around $100 – $200. So the process begins, you pay filing fees, submit petition forms with mention of divorce ground. The next step is to serve the other spouse with divorce papers followed by waiting for their response. The court decides on a temporary hearing date to decide on temporary issues such as child custody, support, alimony, marital home etc. The waiting period for this date varies from state to state.

If you are planning to have a mediator present, you need to pay fee for mediation services provided. The family court decides on the date of trial and your legal counsels argue the case before a judge. The judge passes decision or the final divorce decree legally separating you and your spouse and terminating your marriage from then on.

Many of these steps can be by passed if couple decides to settle matters amicably. For settling a divorce without much hassle and in less time, the couples can file a joint petition for divorce. Thus, this would be a no fault divorce and would be filed as under mutual consent. Such a joint petition implies that couple and their legal counsels have agreed to sort out other divorce related issues such as alimony, child custody, child support, visitation routine, division of assets and debts, division of marital home and other properties etc.

Every step of the divorce process requires a fee to be paid and this can be saved if couples decide to come together and reach agreements on majority of concerned issues so that few or none have to be resolved in court before a judge. A quick divorce would save you money on even fee for you legal counsels since they are hired for a shorter time period.

If settling matters is not possible, you have to go through all the steps and you would require expert guidance and representation from an experienced divorce attorney.