Before heading to the courthouse to file your divorce petition, there are a few facts that you should know. Taking the time to review these important facts outlined below can help you to avoid potential delays in the processing of your divorce petition and may even save you a bit of money along the way.
You May Be Able To Expedite Your Divorce With A Simplified Divorce Petition
Many states now offer select couples the ability to file what is known as a simplified divorce petition. By eliminating the need for extensive court involvement, these divorce petitions allow couples to finalize their divorce in a matter of weeks rather than months. Furthermore, by limiting the number of court appearances to just one appearance, couples are often able to save a considerable amount of money on legal fees by choosing to file a simplified petition.
In order to file a simplified divorce petition, you will need to meet all of the criteria listed below.
- You and your spouse must agree that your marriage is irretrievably broken.
- You and your spouse must agree upon the decision to get divorced.
- You and your spouse must agree on the way in which your marital property will be divided.
- You and your spouse cannot share any children in common.
You Cannot Serve Your Own Spouse With Divorce Papers
The court requires that all parties listed on your divorce petition be informed of the proceedings and given ample time to file an answer with the court. In order to prove that all parties were in fact given this opportunity, the court will require that your spouse is served with an official copy of the divorce petition. While many people make the mistake of believing this is a task they can complete on their own, the truth is, the court does not recognize the delivery of these documents from one spouse to another as legal service. This is because you have a vested interest in the case.
In order to ensure your spouse cannot claim that they were not aware of the divorce proceedings, the court will require an independent agent to serve your spouse with divorce papers. This independent agent must be over the age of 18, have no vested interest in the case, and be willing to testify in court if necessary regarding their delivery of these documents.
An Uncontested Divorce Does Not Mean You Don't Need To Hire An Attorney
People often believe that there is no reason to hire a legal office like Madison Law Firm PLLC when filing an uncontested divorce petition. However, the fact is, an uncontested petition simply means that your spouse has agreed not to fight the divorce. This does not mean that there will be no points of disagreement during the course of the proceedings. While you may agree on the need to get divorced, your spouse's understanding attitude might change when it comes to matters such as child custody, or property division. Retaining an attorney will ensure that your best interest remains protected if these types of issues should arise.