How Does The Process Of Getting a Divorce Actually Work?

Divorce is stressful and unpleasant in any situation. After all, there are emotional and financial obstacles to overcome in addition to the legal ones. Even while no two divorces are the same, most of them stick to a fairly standard pattern.An explanation is provided by a Lake Forest Divorce Attorney that The steps that must be taken in order to acquire a divorce are detailed in the following paragraphs.

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1. Put In An Application For Divorce

In order to initiate a divorce, a divorce petition must be filed. Whether or whether the couple agrees to end their marriage, one of them (the “petitioner”) must file paperwork with the court for a divorce. The petition must have the following information:

  • A certification indicating one of the partners has met the residency requirements for divorce in the state. At least one spouse usually has to have resided in the state for three to twelve months and in the county where the petition is filed for ten days to six months. Without both spouses meeting the residency criteria of the state, the court cannot accept the case.
  • A valid ground for dissolution of marriage. The specifics of this can change depending on where you live and whether you opt for an at-fault or no-fault divorce. Those who are at blame may have committed adultery; been abandoned; been unable to conceive a child; been convicted of a crime; been the victims of emotional or physical abuse; been addicted to drugs or alcohol; or have suffered from mental illness. Irreconcilable differences, incompatibility, and irretrievable breakdown are all examples of no-fault grounds for divorce.

2. To Seek Interim Judgment From The Court


If you are a stay-at-home parent raising little children and financially dependent on your husband, waiting months for a court to finalise a divorce may not be feasible. Temporary orders addressing child custody, child support, and spousal support can be requested from the court when a divorce petition is filed.

The court will schedule a hearing, collect evidence from both parties, and issue a ruling on your request for a temporary order. The judge will usually act swiftly to issue the temporary order, and it will remain in effect until either the court issues a new order or the divorce is finalised.

3. Submit Acceptable Evidence Of Service

A spouse must be served with a copy of the divorce petition and any requested temporary orders before they can be filed with the court. The court will know that the divorce petition was properly served on the other party if this paperwork is submitted. If you fail to serve your spouse and submit proof of service, the judge will dismiss your divorce case.

4. Discuss a Compromise

In the event that you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse cannot come to an agreement on important issues like child custody, spousal support, and property distribution, you will need to negotiate a settlement. Your lawsuit may be resolved by a settlement meeting between you, your spouse, and your respective attorneys, which the court will likely order.


Sometimes, if the parties involved are unable to come to an agreement, the court will establish mediation with a third-party mediator. Divorce mediation is compulsory in some jurisdictions, but it can still be beneficial in reducing costs, resolving issues amicably, and easing emotional strain on everyone involved.

5. Attempt a Legal Resolution

A divorce trial would be necessary if attempts at mutual agreement failed. A trial can take place in front of either a judge or a jury, depending on the circumstances. Both parties present facts and maybe call witnesses to back up their positions on contentious divorce issues such child custody, alimony, and property division.

6. Put an End To The Judgment Process

In either an uncontested or litigated divorce, the last stage is for the judge to sign a judgement of divorce. This legal document, also known as a “dissolution order”, officially dissolves the marriage and lays out the terms for the split of property and the allocation of responsibilities including child care and spousal maintenance. Assuming you and your soon-to-be ex have reached a settlement through negotiation, the filing spouse’s counsel will likely draught the judgement. If the divorce case goes to court, however, the judge will make the final decision.

Final Thoughts


Most states do not require you to retain legal counsel. However, it sometimes represents the most effective means of safeguarding your interests (assuming you hire a competent attorney, of course). If your spouse has ever used drugs, abused children or others sexually or physically, or if there is a history of domestic violence, you should always consult an attorney.