You may want to divorce that is smooth and amicable but you cannot predict or control how your spouse will behave during the divorce proceedings. If you want a cooperative or collaborative divorce you may have to work closely with your divorce lawyer and your spouse. Divorce proceedings can be short or long depending on the parties and what they want to achieve. Hiring a divorce lawyer is the best thing you can do to protect your legal rights and your property.
Each lawyer involved in the divorce must follow specific procedural rules. The parties cannot complain and force the court to make a specific order. No matter how frustrated or uncooperative your spouse may be, you need to understand that the legal process will not permit your spouse to force you to submit to prejudicial conditions.
You and your lawyer need to determine the correct venue for the divorce proceedings. You generally file for divorce in the county in which you reside. A skilled divorce lawyer can help you determine if you may be able to file for divorce in a different county from the one in which you reside. The documents you file in the court are pleadings and different states have different required forms that must be filed in the divorce case.
The pleadings you serve in the court must be served on your spouse. A divorce lawyer will ensure that service of process is successful. Serious consequences arise when service of process is not fulfilled as a divorce case proceeds.
A court must have jurisdiction to grant or deny orders that bound the parties before the court. The parties in a divorce can file motions asking the court to decide on property division or child custody. You need to have an experienced divorce lawyer on your side to ensure that you can protect your legal rights.
Discovery is one of the first steps in any civil case. This is a phase during which both parties exchange information with each other. A spouse may want to learn more about the other spouse’s financial assets and liabilities. Each party must follow specific court rules regarding discovery and each side may exchange interrogatories, requests for production, and requests for admission. These discovery tools can help the court obtain a more objective understanding of the financial condition of both parties to the divorce.
During your divorce proceedings you may have to participate in a form of alternative dispute resolution. Alternative dispute resolution, or ADR, is a term that encompasses settlement conferences, arbitration, and mediation. The parties are encouraged to work together toward a mutually agreeable settlement term. The alternative dispute resolution process cannot begin until the discovery process is complete.
Working with a divorce lawyer like our friends at Daniel J. Wright is the best thing you can do if you are participating in divorce proceedings.