The Divorce Process
There are several steps to completing a divorce (dissolution). Often people seeking a divorce start the process themselves, however due to how cumbersome the process is, they often need the help of an attorney or family law facilitator to complete the dissolution. If the process is not completed in a timely manner, the court may dismiss the action and thus the parties would have to start it all over.
The following are basic terms in the divorce process:
The person who first files forms to begin the process to start a dissolution is the petitioner.
The other party is the respondent, and during the entire process remains the respondent throughout the process.
The Petitioner files a Petition, and Summons, and if there are minor children also a form to declare the children. These are the forms necessary to initialize the divorce process.
The respondent must be served the paperwork by an individual who is NOT the party to the action, and is at least 18 years old. Once served, a proof of service document must be filed with the court.
The respondent has 30 calendar days to file his answer. If the answer is the mirror image of the petitioner’s paperwork, the process is easy. In six months, you could be divorced. This is called an uncontested divorce.
If however, it is not the mirror image, then we have a contested divorce and you might want to consider hiring legal counsel. For more information, please call us at: 714.642.3838.