How To File For Divorce
If you want to end your marriage, you need to know how to file for divorce. You can either file for a no-fault or fault divorce, depending on why your marriage is ending. In a no-fault divorce, both partners have agreed that neither have done anything to harm the other, but that the marriage still cannot be saved. Fault divorces occur when one spouse cheats on or abandons the other or is abusive.
- Find a lawyer. You should hire a divorce lawyer to help you understand the filing process and to help you complete a marriage settlement arrangement, which will determine which spouse gets what, how custody will be arranged (if children are involved) and who will pay any debts you may have accrued as a couple.
- File an original petition for divorce. Your lawyer will help you draft the petition or letter of complaint, which will explain to the court why you want a divorce. You will then file the petition with your county. The county will then serve the petition to your spouse.
- Spilt your assets. Talk with your spouse and her lawyer to determine how you will split everything. If you and your spouse cannot agree on a fair split of your assets, you may need to bring in a divorce mediator to help facilitate the process.
- Appear in court. If working with a mediator does not help you and your spouse divide your assets, you may need to go to divorce court. A judge will review your petition and determine a fair way to divide everything. If you have children, the judge may also determine who will have custody.
- Get the final decree of divorce. Once everything has been sorted out, a judge will issue a final divorce decree, which will put all the terms of the divorce in writing. You will also be issued a certificate of divorce, which verifies that you are in fact no longer married.