How do I get a divorce? 17 Answers as of May 10, 2011

I want to get a divorce. What do I do?

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Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
The simple answer is hire a lawyer. But, since I am sure that is not the answer you are looking for, you may want to review information I have posted on my website. You will find a lot of information there, as well as information on the Law Q&A Network where you posted this question. Just search the links for answers I have provided. I assure you, I have written on this subject more than once.

That said, the process starts with a Petition. A petition is the document that ask the Court to give you a divorce. It must be filed with the Clerk in the county/district where either you or your spouse lives (If there are children, file where the children live). The second step is to get your spouse served (they can sign a waiver). From there, each case is unique and the process will depend on what you and your spouse want/do. Either of you can ask for temporary orders, either of you can contest some or all of the request, your spouse may file a counter-petition. One or both of you may seek discovery, there may or may not be a trial (there must be a final hearing, but it can be a simple hearing to prove up the agreements, or it can be a trial with evidence, arguments, etc.). If this is pending in Dallas or Collin County let me know, I have a free initial consultation for all new clients.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 5/10/2011
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C.
Theodore W. Robinson, P.C. | Theodore W. Robinson
There are a couple of ways to do it. First, you could hire an attorney to do it for you, however, that is a bit more expensive, but at least all the problems that will inevitably arise can be taken care of by the attorney. Or you can go on line and do it through one of the sites that are set up to do it for you. Of course, those are mainly for uncontested divorces that do not include children or houses and other property. It's your choice. Good luck.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 5/9/2011
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C.
Michael Anthony Wing, P.C. | Michael Anthony Wing
Contact a lawyer you trust to discuss the case. Ask family and friends for a referral if you don't know one personally. If they know nobody, then call your local bar for a referral. Stay well.
Answer Applies to: Alabama
Replied: 5/9/2011
Glenn E. Tanner
Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
File a petition for dissolution of marriage. Serve your spouse with petition and summons. Search on line for Washington State Divorce Forms. When you get to the state website, there are instructions. Each county is different so check out the clerk's office of the Superior court of each county. Most or all counties have court house facilitators who can point you in the right direction but not give legal advise. It is not brain surgery. Most people get divorced without attorneys.
Answer Applies to: Washington
Replied: 5/6/2011
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
You need to consult an attorney who can explain the law and the procedures to you after evaluating your specific situation.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 5/6/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    If you want to hire counsel contact a law firm and consult with the attorney to see if you are comfortable having that person represent you. If you want to represent yourself you can visit your local courthouse for information or go on the Judicial Branch Website.
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 5/6/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    A divorce is commenced by serving and filing a Summons and Petition for divorce. You may hire an attorney to file the documents and proceed through court or you may acquire documents from the Court Administrators office and attempt to proceed on your own.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 5/6/2011
    Seattle Divorce Services
    Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
    The basic procedure in Washington is to file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with the court to open a case. There are a number of other documents you will to complete along with that. If your spouse does not sign the Petition, then you will also need a Summons and you will need to have copies of the documents served on your spouse.

    If you are able to come to a settlement with your spouse, the settlement should be reflected in court orders which are then signed by both of you and entered with the court. If you cannot come to a settlement, then the court will hold a trial to determine the terms of the divorce. Once the final orders are signed and filed, you are divorced. If you are in King County, our office can assist you with the paperwork you will need. You can also contact the county Bar Association to find out what other forms of assistance may be available in your area.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/5/2011
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A.
    The Davies Law Firm, P.A. | Robert F. Davies, Esq.
    You must file a divorce lawsuit to get divorced. You would need to give more information about your circumstances for me to tell you more.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 5/5/2011
    Bivek Brubaker and Prescott LLC
    Bivek Brubaker and Prescott LLC | Damon Bivek
    There are several steps involved in filing for divorce. You will need to file the Divorce in the Superior Court of the county in which the Defendant resides (your spouse). There are several documents that you will need to file including a Summons and Complaint for Divorce, Case Initiation Form, Disclosure Statement, and a Domestic Relations Financial Affidavit. You will also need to pay filing fees, which vary by county. A good first step is to schedule a consultation with an attorney, so that you can make a list of everything that you need to prepare, and get a quote from an attorney of what the fees would be should you wish to retain counsel to help you through the process. If you have children, then you will need to file additional documents including a child support worksheet and parenting plan.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 5/5/2011
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
    The easiest and best (but not the cheapest) way to get a divorce and minimize your work in getting a divorce is to retain an experienced Family Law Attorney to handle your divorce. If you can't afford an attorney, you should go to your local Superior Court's self-help clinic to obtain assistance in doing your own divorce.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/5/2011
    Beresford Booth PLLC
    Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
    In Washington State, a divorce is commenced by filing a petition for dissolution of the marriage together with other required forms.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 5/5/2011
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell
    Law Office of Richard B. Kell | Richard B. Kell
    How you will file for Divorce will depend on the specific facts of your situation. Therefore, you should first speak to a divorce attorney about your particular situation to help you determine the best course of action for you. Feel free to call my office for a free telephone consultation. I will be happy to discuss the available options for you.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 5/5/2011
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    There is no way to properly answer this question without knowing the specific facts of your case. Best to call a local family law lawyer to assist you. If you can't afford a lawyer, then go to your local court's self-help center, where they can help you get rolling on your divorce. In the meantime, a brief and generic overview of any divorce is as follows:
    1. One spouse must fill out and file at the local courthouse a divorce petition, summons, and depending on whether there are minor children or a need for immediate orders on various issues, certain other papers.
    2. Serve the petition, summons, and related papers on the other spouse (service must be done by someone over 18 who is not a party to the case).
    3. Each spouse must fill out and exchange preliminary disclosures.
    4. The spouses should try to reach agreements on all issues that are applicable to their case, such as custody, visitation, child or spousal support, and dividing assets and debts. 5. If agreements can be reached on all issues, either spouse must submit all requisite paperwork to the court, including any settlement agreement, to finalize the case.
    6. If agreements cannot be reached, then one party must set any disputed matters for a court hearing or trail, depending on the issues in dispute, and get a judge's order. You can also find some helpful info here: Good luck!
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 5/5/2011
    Edward A. Kroll, Attorney at Law
    Edward A. Kroll, Attorney at Law | Edward A. Kroll
    Talk to a family law attorney in your area. They can help you with the process. It is not advised that you try to get a divorce by yourself, without legal assistance.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 5/5/2011
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