Filing for Divorce: 101

Filing for Divorce: 101

Filing for divorce is probably something you’ve never done before, so if you are wondering how to do it, that’s OK. With a divorce lawyer, like a divorce lawyer in Arlington, TX, by your side, you can navigate the sometimes-complicated world that accompanies the dissolution of your marriage. The following are some basics to get you started.

Confirm Eligibility

Each state has different requirements regarding eligibility for divorce. For example, in one state, you may need to have proof of residency for at least six months before you can get a divorce there. In another state, you may need proof that the reason for the divorce happened there (such as your spouse had an affair with someone who lives in that state). If you’re unsure about where to file and whether you’re eligible, you can contact the county courthouse or a lawyer.

Look for Online Forms or Hire a Lawyer

If you plan to complete the divorce on your own, you can look online for forms. Each state has downloadable forms that you can use and there are typically resources to help you navigate the process. If you’d rather get expert help, look for a divorce lawyer in your area and contact him or her for an initial consultation.

Complete a Preliminary Agreement

Not every state requires one, but some will ask you and your spouse to complete a preliminary agreement before you actually file for divorce. This is a document that goes over some of the basics of your separation, such as child custody, property division and other similar aspects. This can typically be changed during the divorce process, but it’s a good starting point.

Complete the Divorce Petition

A divorce petition will outline the reason for your divorce. It will contain information about you, the marriage, and your spouse. If your spouse is being difficult and you can’t get all the information needed, your attorney can help you get it court-ordered. When the petition is complete, you’ll need to sign it in the presence of a notary or attorney. In addition to the petition, there may be some documents, such as your marriage certificate, that you’ll need to attach.

Receive Temporary Orders

A judge can grant you child support or restraining order if they are needed before the divorce is complete. These types of orders are temporary, so when the divorce becomes final, the orders will be lifted. If you wish for them to continue, be sure they are in the final divorce decree.

File the Papers

When you have everything complete and collected, take the petition to the county clerk, pay a fee and you’ll be on your way. You can contact the clerk’s office ahead of time to find out exactly what the fee will be.

Get the Assistance You Need

Sometimes it’s easiest to hire an attorney for assistance with your divorce. Contact a divorce lawyer, like a divorce lawyer in Arlington, TX, to get started.

Thanks to Brandy Austin Law Firm for their insight into filing for divorce. 

Local: 410-539-5250
Toll Free: 888-529-9654
MAIN OFFICE: 6 E. Biddle Street, Baltimore, MD 21202-2702