‘Tis the season for… divorce. While divorces are most commonly seen in the first few months of the year, it’s the stressful holiday season that is often the straw that breaks the marriage’s back. If you are considering divorce as your New Year’s Resolution, you’ll want to know the steps for how to obtain one.
Steps of the Divorce Process
Whatever your reason for considering divorce, there are set steps you will need to take to get divorced. Hence, we bring you a “how-to” for getting divorced.
How you begin your divorce will be dependent on the particulars of your marriage and your relationship. A divorce of a marriage where the spouses have been married for a short period of time, have no children, and little property or debts is typically less involved than a divorce where the couple has been married for a long period of time, shares minor children, or where there is significant property or debt to be divided. If both parties are seeking the divorce, the process will most likely be easier, versus a situation where one spouse is contesting the divorce. You will need to take a look at your specific situation in order to best gauge how you want to proceed.
Step 2: The Divorce Petition
To start the divorce process one of the spouses must file a divorce petition. Even if both spouses are in agreement, one of them must file a petition that states the grounds of the divorce with the court asking for the divorce. Grounds for the divorce vary from state to state. California is a no-fault state, meaning no fault is placed on either party regardless of infidelity, etc… But all jurisdictions allow for some type of no-fault grounds such as “irreconcilable differences.” Some states will consider fault grounds for divorce, such as adultery or abandonment. A family law attorney will be able to advise you your state specific laws regarding grounds for divorce
Step 3: Temporary Orders
If one spouse is seeking to receive financial support (as alimony) or custody of children, that spouse will need to ask the court for temporary orders for that support and custody. This temporary order is usually granted within a few days of the initial petition and will remain in effect until the full divorce court hearing. If the party seeking the temporary order is the same party who is filing the divorce petition, it’s advised that they file both the divorce petition and the temporary order at the same time. If you are not the party that filed the divorce petition, but are looking for support or child custody, you should file your request for that support as soon as possible.
Step 4: Proof of Service and Responding
Once a spouse files for divorce he or she also needs to file for a proof of service of process. This document proves that a copy of the divorce petition was given to the other party. Your family law attorney can help ensure this is done, or you can work with a process server. If both spouses have agreed to divorce, it’s usually the spouse that files the divorce that arranges for the the service of process to the other party’s attorney.
When the service of process is received, that spouse needs to file a response to the divorce petition. In states where grounds for divorce can be filed, this response is where to address or dispute those grounds for divorce. Also, if the spouse receiving the petition has any disagreement with the put forth property division, support, custody terms, or any other issue, this should be added to the response.
Step 5: Negotiating
When two spouses are not in agreement on child custody and visitation, child support, property division and any spousal support, they will need to find a way to negotiate the terms of their divorce. Disagreeing spouses might consider working with a meditation lawyer, as it is in their best interest to work out as much as possible out of court. This will help to cut down on legal fees and time spent arguing. The negotiation process is the hardest part of the divorce process. As we all know from public divorce disputes, the negotiations can sometimes take years if a couple is not able to come to an agreement.
Step 6: Order of Dissolution
Once everything is decided upon an order of dissolution is created that outlines out how the property and debts are to be divided, what child custody and visitation schedule is, what support payments (spousal and child) need to be paid, and any other aspects that have been agreed on. If the spouses are able to negotiate their own resolution to all of these aspects, their lawyers will draft the order of dissolution and submit it to the court. If the Order of Dissolution complies with legal requirements and both parties entered into it knowingly and willingly and can attest to it, then the judge approves it. At this point, the divorce is finalized.
Final Step: Move Forward
A divorce can shatter your life if you let it. So don’t let it.
Every day you can move forward with a few small steps and a plan to succeed. Making small steps every day like the ones outlined below will change your post-divorce life.
Get Out of Survival Mode
Are you just trying to survive?
It’s time to take your life back into your own hands. Here are some first steps to making that giant leap into your new life:
- Wake up
- Get yourself in the zone
- Get yourself moving
- Eat well
- Get ready and inspired
- Get perspective
- Do something that will move you forward
Get Enough Sleep
Getting the right amount of sleep can help you have a longer life, increased creativity, memory, attention, and focus. It can help to lower stress and your risk for depression.
Find Clarity and Abundance
You need to focus on moving forward toward the positive things in your life. What you set your focus on expands. After waking up from a restful night’s sleep, prayer and meditation can help you orient yourself toward the positive.
Get Some Physical Activity
Regular exercise is can decrease your chance of depression, anxiety, and stress. It’s also been linked to higher success in people’s careers. Any form of exercise works: the gym, yard work, cleaning. Just get your body moving and every aspect of your life will thrive.
Eat/Drink 30 Grams of Protein
Eating protein first thing decreases cravings for white carbohydrates (the type of carbs that can make you fat. Food rich in protein will help you feel fuller for longer because they take longer for the body to digest. Protein also keeps blood-sugar levels steady, and thus prevents hunger spikes.
Take A Cold Shower
Cold water immersion has been shown to radically facilitate physical and mental wellness with regular practice. It not only changes your body’s immune, lymphatic, circulatory and digestive systems, but it can also increase weight-loss because it boosts your metabolism.
Those who do this report feeling an increase in willpower, creativity, motivation, and inspiration.
Listen to or Read Uplifting Content
Seek to learn and be educated. Some of the world’s most successful people read at least one book per week. You don’t eve have to read – you can listen to an audiobook. Even 15-30 minutes a morning of uplifting and instructive information can change you. Just think about how much that will amount to over time. And just consider the amount of knowledge and life-perspective you will have gained.
Get Some Goals
Reviewing your goals a few minutes a day can put your day into perspective. Chances are some things have changed after your divorce. Take some time to re-focus your energy on what you really want to accomplish.
Working with a Family Law Attorney
Whatever your reason is for divorce, you should consider working with a family law attorney. They will be able to advise you on any number of issues, including: child support, spousal support, marital property division, child visitation, etc… A lawyer from the expert law firm of Divorce Law LA will be able to guide you through the divorce process. The Divorce & Family Law Offices of Divorce Law LA will provide you with the highest level of expertise and professionalism from our skilled attorneys. Our Divorce and Family Law Practice spans a wide spectrum of areas that include: divorce, high net-worth divorce, marital property division, child custody and visitation, and child support.
33 S. Catalina Ave. Ste. 202
Pasadena, Ca. 91106