The process of filing for a divorce can seem overwhelming because of the amount of emotion you are bringing into the equation. However, in its most basic form, divorce is a bureaucratic process that requires a lot of paperwork and filing. Though, while the process is designed to be amicable and avoid as much conflict as possible, the nullification of a marriage, especially when both parties are not on the same page, can be emotionally grueling. Therefore, to reduce some of the stress and anxiety, it is best to understand the process before filing.
1. Gather Information
Before you can even begin to think about filing for a divorce, you will need to gather all the required documentation. The paperwork most lawyers and courts will want to see include several personal and financial records.
- Identifying papers
- Financial records
- Property records
- Tax returns
- Insurance policies
- Prenuptial agreement
- Investment portfolio
2. Contact an Attorney
Once you have gathered all the paperwork, you should reach out to a divorce attorney in your area. Even if you are only considering a divorce, it is helpful to discuss the process with someone experienced with the legal ramifications. A lawyer will be able to help answer any of your questions and concerns, and they will also walk you through the best- and worst-case scenarios. Take advantage of free consultations and expertise.
3. Fill Out and File Paperwork
Once you have gathered all necessary documents and talked with your attorney, you will need to fill out and file the divorce paperwork. Your lawyer can help you find and file the right forms. You will likely fill out a family law petition, summons, property declaration and forms regarding child custody and visitation. After these items have been filled out, reviewed and filed, your spouse will be served with the papers.
4. File Financial Disclosures
After everything is submitted, you and your spouse will likely be required to fill out and file financial disclosure forms. Again, your lawyer will be able to help you understand your obligations with these forms and how to fill them out correctly.
5. Finalize Your Divorce
Once everything is filed, you will need to write up an official agreement with your spouse, if they are cooperating. It is best if everyone cooperates and comes to the process amicably because it ensures that the proceedings do not become vindictive. Once an agreement is obtained, it is presented to the court for a final judgment.
Divorces are emotionally difficult. However, if both parties maintain respect and cooperation throughout, the proceedings can be handled amicably. Contact divorce lawyers in Arlington, TX, such as from Brandy Austin Law Firm, PLLC, to help you through the process and secure your interests.