As divorce specialists, we hear a lot of similar questions that many clients ask when initially starting the divorce process. We have created a list of the top 8 common divorce questions we hear on a daily basis that will clarify some of the steps and aspects of the divorce process. Most of the cases we handle are uncontested meaning both parties are in agreement to get the divorce.
- Where do I file for divorce? Many of our clients are unsure where they should file for divorce. Usually one would file where they are currently residing and there are certain residency requirements one must meet in order to file in a specific state and county. The requirements range anywhere from 30 days to 2 years in order for you to be eligible. If you and your spouse have children under 18 there are certain states that require you to file where your children live.
- Do I need to live in the same state as my spouse to get divorced? It is not necessary that and your spouse live in the same state, however it is important to remember certain states may require both parties to attend your finalization hearing. Referring back to question 1 some states do require filing where your children are located so that might determine which spouse should be the filing party.
- Do I have to get divorced where I was married? Many clients are under the impression that they should get divorced where they were married. This is not usually the case, for example, if you had a destination wedding in Hawaii than the courts don’t expect you to travel back to Hawaii to get divorced. Unless you are still residing in the same state where you were married then you would file wherever you meet residency requirements.
- What if I cannot find my spouse, can I still get divorced? Absent spouse cases are certainly possible in most states but usually more challenging than a regular divorce. Alternative routes may be taken to complete your divorce. A couple examples include serving your spouse at their last known address or publication through your local newspaper to serve your missing spouse. These routes are usually options for absent spouse cases.
How long is it going to take to get divorced? This is a big question because most clients want the divorce process to be done as soon as possible. In most states the process can take anywhere from 30-90 days for your divorce to be finalized and it takes 6 months in the state of California. Some states require a specific separation period to file under uncontested grounds for divorce. The states that require separation may vary between living apart without cohabitation to living together but having separate lives.
Am I going to have to serve my spouse? Some states do require a formal serving process where you have a couple of options to serve your spouse. Usually, clients serve their spouse through a sheriff’s department, registered mail or even a friend or family member can deliver the papers to their spouse. Serving the spouse gives them time to respond to your agreement and either agree with the terms or contest you. Some states do not require a formal serving process as long as both parties are willing to sign the documents.
Do I need an attorney to file for divorce? Clients have the option of many outlets outside of an attorney to get their divorce complete. These options include paralegals, mediation, and pro se (representing yourself). There are resources out there for individuals to complete a divorce on their own. Sites like CompleteCase.com help people prepare their divorce documents guiding you from start to finish on divorce process, provide them with 100% guarantee of court approval.
Do I have to go to court? Most states do require a finalization hearing so if you are representing yourself you are more than likely going to have to appear. Depending on the state and county you file in will determine if you will have to appear. If you are filing uncontested usually only the filing party will need to appear for the finalization of the divorce.