I obtained my divorce in 1997, finalizing a process that started in 1993 when my ex first mentioned the "D word." While divorces are certainly obtained in a much shorter timeframe, I don't think that my experience is unusual for those with children of the marriage to consider and a career to keep them busy in other matters. I've learned quite a lot in the process, and would like to share my experiences with you in the hope that they might save you some time, money, and/or grief in your own divorce proceedings.
I'll caution that I have no legal training, and have tried to stay away from legal jargon as much as possible. Also keep in mind that not everything in this article will be relevant to your own situation. Consult a lawyer before getting into any actual separation or divorce proceedings.
- Do you really want a divorce?
- Do you need a lawyer?
- Documentation Needed
- Separation Agreement , Summons and Counterclaim
- The Discovery Phase
- Division of Property, Financial Support, Child Custody and Visitation Rights
- Settlement or trial?
Do you really want a divorce?
The first step is to try everything possible -- including mediation, therapy groups, the clergy, an uninterrupted vacation, your closest friends, and whatever else might help -- to try and keep your marriage together! If you have children of the marriage, all the more reason to try your hardest to work things out with your spouse. (I hasten to add, however, that keeping a bad, acrimonious marriage together "for the kids" isn't really in your children's best interest. There is plenty of literature available on this subject; or you might want to consult a child therapist.)