Finalizing a Divorce
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Finalizing a Divorce
Most states will not automatically grant you a divorce once you file for one. There may be a mandatory waiting period between when a divorce is filed and when it is finalized. The purpose of this period is to encourage reconciliation between the two spouses.
The main steps to take to finalize a divorce include:
- Make sure you qualify to file for a divorce in your state.
- Make sure all the required paperwork is filled out and filed with the appropriate court.
- Give your spouse legal notice that you are filing a divorce.
- Go through the waiting period that is required by your state.
- File the application for entry of default and send a copy to your spouse.
- If you have a minor, complete your parent education course if the court requires one. The completion certification must be filed with the court stating that you completed the course.
- Schedule a court date and take all the necessary paperwork with you to your hearing.
- Complete the decree of divorce document that puts the terms of your divorce in writing. Either spouse can prepare this document.
The Waiting Period before a Divorce Is Finalized
The length of the waiting period before a divorce is finalize varies from state to state:
- California: 6 months between the day the respondent spouse is served with the divorce papers and the day the divorce is officially finalized.
- Florida: 20 days from the time the divorce is filed and when it is finalized, unless the court finds that an injustice would occur by the waiting period.
- Illinois: Generally the parties must show that the spouses have lived separate and apart for a continuous period in excess of 2 years separate and apart, which does not necessarily mean separate housing. However, in a no-fault divorce, if the spouses have lived separate and apart for a continuous period of at least 6 months, the parties can stipulate in writing to waive the 2-year living apart requirement.
- New York: 30 days between the day the respondent spouse is officially served with the divorce papers and the day the divorce is officially finalized.
- Texas: 60 days from the time the divorce is filed and when it is finalized.
Do I Need a Lawyer for My Divorce?
The court process for obtaining a divorce or annulment can be very confusing, so it may be wise to consult with a family attorney to help explain your rights and to protect your interests. Moreover, a lawyer can help you negotiate a divorce decree and assign debt responsibilities to the appropriate spouse.
Consult a Lawyer - Present Your Case Now!
Last Modified: 08-20-2014 02:15 PM PDT
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