Legally ending a marriage is much more than just screaming “I want a divorce!” during an argument with your spouse. In fact, although you've emotionally split with your partner, and may already be living at separate residences, actually ending the marriage in the eyes of the government takes much longer. Cummings Law Firm is a top rated divorce lawyer in the Waterbury area, and has helped many individuals get through this process as quickly and graciously as possible. If and when you decide that it's time to legally terminate your marriage, and decide to work with our divorce lawyers, here's a brief idea of what you can expect from the process. While this is the general order of operations, please keep in mind that each divorce is different, and in some cases there may be many months between steps.
FILING A PETITION
This is the first official step in the divorce process. No matter how amicable your divorce might be, you'll have to decide whether it will be you or your partner who will file this request. It can't be both of you. In the petition, your lawyer will include the grounds for divorce. How this is worded will depend largely on the jurisdiction in which you file for divorce. With regard to divorce, Connecticut is a mixed state. This means that the court will accept either fault or no-fault grounds as your reason for filing for a divorce. In Connecticut, a petition for divorce can also be filed once both members of the marriage have been separated for at least 18 months.
After filing the petition for divorce, it will mostly likely be time for your divorce lawyer to file temporary orders. This process comes into play when one spouse depends on the other for the build of their financial support, or if one of the spouses will be taking on all responsibility of caring for any children that resulted from the marriage. In most cases, divorce lawyers can secure these temporary orders in a matter of days. Once secured, they remain in place throughout the duration of the process until a full court hearing can be arranged.
SERVICE OF PROCESS
At the same time as any temporary orders are filed, the party who initiated the petition for divorce will be required to provide proof of service of process. Basically, this is just a document that proves they served their spouse with a copy of the divorce petition. The most dignified way to serve papers is to have your divorce lawyers send them to the attorneys who'll be representing your spouse.
After the service of process has occurred, it's time to wait for a response from your spouse. This response must be filed officially. A verbal response or message received over email doesn't count. The response is your spouse's way of officially acknowledging that they've been served with divorce papers. It's also their opportunity to dispute the grounds on which the petition for divorce was filed. Even in divorces that started off amicably, this is often where things can start to get ugly.
In the very likely event that there is disagreement between the parties over all the issues of the divorce, the proceedings will enter a period of negotiation at this point. Negotiations can be lengthy, frustrating, and incredibly confusing. Navigating this period of the proceeding successfully is one major reason why people choose to hire divorce lawyers.
TRIAL & ORDER OF DISSOLUTION
Issues that can't be resolved during negotiation will trigger a trial, upon which a judge will rule. Following this ruling, both parties will be able to proceed toward an order of dissolution that will officially end the marriage.
Want help getting through this lengthy and confusing process? Contact Cummings Law Firm for access to the Waterbury area's top-rated divorce lawyer.
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