The divorce process is the steps it takes to get a divorce decree. Parties can often be divorced for several months or years before the court finalizes matters such as custody, support, and property division—that are defined as ancillary matters. Steps in the divorce process can include:

  • Establishing venue – that the court in which the petition is filed is the proper court;
  • Establishing residency – swearing or affirming that you have lived within the state in which your petition is filed the proper amount of time (varies from state to state);
  • Indicating whether either party is active in the military;
  • Establishing age and residency of parties;
  • Alleging grounds for divorce.

Other elements of the divorce process include filing the divorce petition, serving the responding party, and waiting the statutorily mandated separation period. Finally, after that has occurred you would request a divorce hearing before a judge and receive the divorce decree after it has been determined that all the requirements for a final divorce decree have been met.

Parties to the divorce can have some control over the divorce process if it is an amicable divorce. In instances where there are no children or property issues and both parties agree to the divorce, a final decree of divorce can be issued within 90 to 180 days of filing the petition depending upon the jurisdiction. Mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution call also shorten the divorce process. The fewer matters a judge has to decide in a divorce proceeding, the faster the divorce process.


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