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Do you know how a divorce takes shape?

The divorce process is never simple. Furthermore, this can and will differ from one couple to the next. Even so, there are some basic steps that typically occur. These include:

-- One spouse hires an attorney and files a divorce petition.

-- The divorce petition is filed with the appropriate family law court.

-- The court makes sure that the divorce is served to the other spouse.

-- The person who receives the summons is required to respond, typically within three to four weeks.

-- The couple exchanges a variety of documents regarding property and debt division. Furthermore, this leads to discussions regarding child custody, child support and alimony.

-- The couple may decide on mediation as opposed to litigation.

-- If a settlement is reached in mediation, the agreement is then presented to a judge. The judge will then sign the agreement if everything checks out.

-- Both individuals will receive a copy of the agreement to ensure that they understand their rights.

-- If the divorce goes to court, both individuals, along with their legal team, present their case and wait for the judge to make key decisions.

These are some of the most basic steps associated with the divorce process. If you understand these, you will have a clear idea of what to expect, for the most part, as your divorce moves forward.

Things can come up along the way that slow the process. You should be prepared for any challenge that could move to the forefront. Preparing for the worst will allow you to make important decisions along the way.

Source: FindLaw, "A Divorce Timeline," accessed April 14, 2017

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