The first step is filing a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage stating the fault or no fault grounds for divorce. Afterward, the Petition is filed with the court and served to the Respondent or spouse with a Summons. Upon the date of the Petition served, the Respondent or spouse has 30 days to file a response to the Petition. Attorneys discuss the temporary support needs such as marital expenses, maintenance, and child support during the dependency of the divorce proceedings.
Financial investigations or “discovery” procedures are used to determine the value of the marital estate. The marital estate, child custody, and visitation are issues that are subject to negotiation and settlement between the parties.
The agreement or disagreement of the parties in a divorce case determine whether a judgment can be made and a final divorce decree is entered quickly or whether the parties will present the issues to the judge during a pretrial conference and perhaps set for trial.