While every divorce may proceed differently, there are some specific steps that most divorces will follow from start to finish. The specifics will vary from area to area and case to case.
FindLaw explains that regardless of where you file your divorce, the process will always begin with filing your petition. You then must serve your spouse and wait for his or her answer to the petition.
The next step is to begin working on a settlement. For many couples, it is possible to reach an agreement that covers all the important aspects, property division, child custody, child support and alimony. However, you may have some sticking points where you cannot agree.
If this happens, you might choose to use alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation, to negotiate and discuss the issue until you come to an agreement. If you reach a settlement agreement, then you present it to the court for approval.
If you cannot reach an agreement, then you will need to go to court and involve the judge in making decisions.
If you go to trial, you will need to go before the judge and each present your case. The judge will have the final say on issues you could not agree upon between yourselves. He or she will follow the law when making decisions. Once the judge reaches a decision on all issues, he or she will issue the final ruling.
Once there is a settlement or decision by the court, the judge will enter the final order into the record. This order will legally end your marriage and bind you and your former spouse to the details of the divorce decree.