The divorce process is hopefully something you do not have to experience more than once. Your first time filing can be intimidating, especially if you have never had any business within the court system.
You will begin the divorce process by filing a petition with the court. You will need to file in the county where you have lived for at least 90 days.
After you file the petition, you will need to serve your spouse with the papers. You cannot do this yourself. It must go through a process server, which is someone you hire to give him or her the papers.
If you cannot serve your spouse for some reason, you can ask the court for a waiver. The waiver is also applicable if you will have an uncontested divorce, but your spouse would have to sign a notarized waiver form.
Once your spouse has the paperwork, he or she can file an answer. In your petition, you will list what you want in the divorce. Your spouse’s answer is what he or she wants. If you both agree, then you can work through an uncontested divorce, which will speed up the process. Your spouse has 20 days after receiving the papers to file an answer.
If you and your spouse cannot agree on what you both will get from the divorce, you will have to go through negotiations to try to reach an agreement. This process can be short or may take a long time, depending on how well you and your spouse can agree.
If negotiations fail, your case will go to court. The judge will then decide on any remaining issues and finalize your divorce. Once the judge issues a decree, your marriage is over and the agreement is final.