An insider survey cites that significant conflict and lots of conflict is the third leading cause of divorce. Maybe this is you, and you’ve decided to part ways with your spouse. This decision never comes lightly, and as a West Palm Beach divorce attorney, we know how painful it can be. Now you need to know how to begin the divorce process.
It Starts with a Paperwork Packet
To make things a little easier, some courts have begun providing a ‘divorce packet.’ If you fill out the paperwork yourself, the packet can be easily picked up from your local county courthouse. A qualified divorce attorney can also write these forms up for you.
The paperwork packet is thick and detailed. You’ll each need to spend time listing the assets you own or control, your debts, listing out who gets what, who is responsible for what, who gets the family pets, how visitation will be handled with your children, and more. If your spouse is not willing to participate, then fill out as much as you can to the best of your knowledge for your side of things.
Hiring a divorce lawyer to help you and your soon-to-be former spouse fill out the divorce papers may be in your best interest to help the process go as smoothly as possible. Even if the divorce seems amicable at first, the tides can turn quickly.
Filing at the Courthouse
Once your divorce papers are filled out correctly, the proper forms are then filed with the county courthouse clerk. The clerk stamps all three copies provided: one for you, one to be served on your spouse, and one for the court. The clerk gives you a court date for your hearing if necessary.
Serving Your Spouse With Divorce Papers
A process server, or another qualified adult, will then serve these divorce papers to your spouse. The other spouse will have a chance to respond to your filings.
What happens next depends on how your spouse responds. Contact us at the Affordable Divorce Center today to see if we can help you iron things out upfront, saving you time and money.
Common Mistakes You Don’t Want to Make During a Divorce
It’s never easy when two people who have been together for long periods decide to part ways. As a Palm Beach County family law attorney, we understand how painful it can be.
On average, there is a zero to a six-month waiting period after the divorce papers are filed and served to the other spouse for the divorce to become final. The more the two of you can agree on the paperwork, the faster the divorce process is. Unfortunately, because agreement can be difficult at this time, it’s often better to find a divorce lawyer that can help mitigate any issues.
During this process, there are four things you want to avoid during a divorce.
The court asks you to disclose all income currently in your possession or under your control. Some assets people don’t consider are bank accounts held in a child’s name (but are usually also in the parent’s name), expensive artwork, and family jewelry. Avoid lying on these documents as the other party can examine these assets.
Bad-Mouthing the Other Spouse
If you have children, it’s important not to bad-mouth your spouse in front of your kids. This can give the court an unfavorable opinion of you when child custody and child support are both being considered. While tensions may be high between you and your former partner, it’s in your best interest to keep any negative talk quiet. This also goes for bad-mouthing your spouse on social media.
Keeping the Children From Your Spouse
Once child custody has been determined, it’s legally necessary to follow the court order. Children have a right to be with both parents as your child custody order mandates. You’re required to share your child with the other parent during the agreed-upon times until any paperwork has been updated.
Making Negotiating Difficult
It’s okay not to be 100% certain how you want to divide your assets during the divorce. However, both parties need to be flexible during negotiations to help make the process go as smoothly as possible. If one party is seen to be purposely frustrating the negotiating experience, this can make the divorce process go on for longer than necessary.
Making these mistakes during a divorce can drag out the process unnecessarily, costing everyone time, money, and emotional anguish. It’s a good idea to find a divorce lawyer you can count on to make the process as easy as possible. To learn more about how the right divorce lawyer can help you, contact the Affordable Divorce Center today.