How do I start the divorce process immediately? 31 Answers as of August 12, 2011

I want to begin this process immediately and I don't know where to start. Who owns the house, the cars, etc… right now? I don't even want to be in the same room with my wife right now.

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Fox Law Firm LLC
Fox Law Firm LLC | Tina Fox
You need to hire an attorney to walk you through the whole process. We offer free 30 minute confidential consultations if you would like to call the office today.
Answer Applies to: Illinois
Replied: 8/5/2011
Neville J. Bedford Attorney at Law
Neville J. Bedford Attorney at Law | Neville J. Bedford
See a competent matrimonial attorney. They will be able to explain the process in your state. If you cannot find one, contact your local bar association for a referral.
Answer Applies to: Rhode Island
Replied: 8/3/2011
ROWE LAW FIRM
ROWE LAW FIRM | Jeffrey S. Wittenbrink
Every divorce in Louisiana begins with the filing of a petition for divorce. You must file a petition advising the court that you want a divorce, and that you intend to remain separate and apart from your spouse for the requisite waiting period for a divorce-180 days if you have no minor children or 365 if you do have minor children. Both parties own all of the property that you have accumulated while married, with several exceptions and detailed rules on how property is divided between you when you divorce. While there are some people who successfully file and prosecute their own divorces, it is a very technical process with many pitfalls. To get started immediately you should see an attorney.
Answer Applies to: Louisiana
Replied: 8/2/2011
Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler
Law Office of Robert L. Fiedler | Robert L Fiedler
You start a divorce process by filing a lawsuit in court seeking a divorce. If you live in a jurisdiction whose court has a service center, that would be the best place to go.
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 8/1/2011
Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation
Wallin & Klarich: A Law Corporation | Paul Wallin
Your first step is to meet with an experienced family lawyer now. With all of these questions, it requires a face to face meeting with a lawyer who can answer these questions when you provide him with all of the appropriate data.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 8/1/2011
    Beaulier Law Office
    Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
    Each party has equally access to and right of possession of all assets unless or until a court order determined otherwise. To commence a divorce, you would serve and file a Summons and Petition for divorce. As part of that process, you may schedule a temporary hearing where a court determines "temporary " issues unti the case is over such as who resides in the house, who pays what debts, who uses what car, temporary custody and support.
    Answer Applies to: Minnesota
    Replied: 8/1/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    We recommend that you compile information concerning assets and debts and that you retain a divorce attorney as soon as possible, in order to begin the process of a Georgia divorce. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/1/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    The easiest thing to do is to hire a family law attorney.Most Washington courts havecourt house facilitators who can show you which forms if you want to do it yourself.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/1/2011
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP
    Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
    make an appointment with an attorney to help you figure out what you want to do. Many offer free initial consultations
    Answer Applies to: Connecticut
    Replied: 8/1/2011
    Willick Law Group
    Willick Law Group | Marshal S. Willick
    Before you say, do, or especially FILE anything, you should consult with qualified divorce counsel to ensure you do not make a huge mistake.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 8/1/2011
    Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson
    Law Office of Michael E. Hendrickson | Michael E. Hendrickson
    Best to arrange for a consultation with an attorney who handles Virginia family law matters and who can explain how to start the process either with counsel or pro se (representing yourself).
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 8/1/2011
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser
    Warner Center Law Offices of Donald F. Conviser | Donald F. Conviser
    You would best retain an experiened Family Law Attorney to counsel you and represent you in the divorce case. If you can't afford to retain an attorney, you should at least consult with an experienced Family Law Attorney to find out how to deal with your divorce. If you can't afford that, I would suggest that you go to your local Superior Court's self-help clinic to obtain free assistance and general advice regarding how to go about handling your own divorce case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/1/2011
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law
    John E. Kirchner, Attorney at Law | John Kirchner
    A divorce case begins with one party filing Petition with the Court. If you retain an attorney, he/she will handle that for you. If you think you can do things yourself, you can obtain infomation and forms from the Colorado Supreme Court Website, Self Help Center. The final terms of the divorce will be decided either by mutual agreement with your wife or by a judge. Until then, the "ownership" of property is unchanged. But, regardless of whose name it is in, there is a presumption that everything is marital and once the divorce is filed neither party can dispose of marital property without approval of the other spouse or the court.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 7/31/2011
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A.
    Michael D. Fluke, P.A. | Michael D. Fluke
    Any assets or debts that were accrued during the course of the marriage are both of yours regardless of whose name they appear in. I suggest you consult a local Family Law attorney to discuss your case in greater detail and learn all of your rights and options. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 7/31/2011
    Law Office of James Lentz
    Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
    Time to visit the lawyer. If you have a house and multiple cars and anything at all in a 401(k) or IRA, you will need a lawyer to uncouple this coupling.
    Answer Applies to: Ohio
    Replied: 7/31/2011
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner
    Law Office of Roianne H. Conner | Roianne Houlton Conner
    You must see an attorney to get the process started by the filing of certain documents in the appropriate Court.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 7/31/2011
    Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq.
    Law & Mediation Office of Jeffrey L. Pollock, Esq. | Jeffrey Lawrence Pollock
    Hire a lawyer to file a Divorce and Custody Complaint and file your Inventory and Appraisement.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 7/31/2011
    Bagwell Holt Smith Jones & Crowson, P.A.
    Bagwell Holt Smith Jones & Crowson, P.A. | John G. Miskey IV
    I know what you are going through and our firm can help you with a logical plan to help you through this transition and protect your legal rights. Our firm is different; we bill by the case, not by the hour.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 7/31/2011
    Durgin Law, LLC
    Durgin Law, LLC | Pearl Hsieh
    Hire an attorney if you want to start the process right away. Who owns what or who owes what comes later.
    Answer Applies to: Kansas
    Replied: 7/31/2011
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller
    Law Office Of Jody A. Miller | Jody A. Miller
    You need to retain a lawyer to answer your questions and represent you in the process. It is precisely because an experienced family lawyer will know "where to start" and how to get through the process that you should hire one. I would strongly recommend against representing your self in a divorce case.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/30/2011
    Fredric H. Aaron, Attorney at Law, P.C.
    Fredric H. Aaron, Attorney at Law, P.C. | Fredric Harlan Aaron
    In order to start a divorce proceeding, you need to have your attorney prepare and serve a summons and complaint for divorce on your wife. Regarding ownership of marital property and responsibility for marital debt, that will be subject to equitable distribution. Unless you and your wife can agree on an equitable division of the marital assets, the court will make that judgment. Considering that you "don't even want to be in the same room" with your wife, you should probably make arrangements to move out of the marital residence (if you haven't done so already) and retain an experienced matrimonial attorney to represent you in your divorce.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 7/30/2011
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
    In Washington, any divorce is started by filing and serving upon the other party, at least the following documents: Cover sheet Confidential information form Summons Petition for dissolution of marriage. Depending upon what county you are in, and whether there are children, there may be other forms as well. As to property, if the two of you can agree on how to divide the property, then, the two of you can divide it just about any way you want. However, if the two of you are unable to agree, then, it will be up to the court to divide the property and debts. If the court is going to divide the property, it first has to classify it. All of the property is going to be classified as your separate property, her separate property, or community property. Which of these classifications a particular piece of property falls into will depend on how and when the property was obtained. In most cases, property obtained during the marriage will be community property. Once the property is classified, how it gets divided will depend on a number of factors. Some of the factors that the court may consider are: the duration of the marriage, the ages of the parties, the health of the parties, the educational background of the parties, the employment history of the parties, and each party's future prospects. The court then has to come up with what the court believes is a fair and equitable division of all of the property using these and other factors. As to property "right now," anything that was acquired during the marriage is most likely community property. That means that until the court divides it, you both own it. The phrase is that you each have an undivided one half interest in all of the community property.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/30/2011
    Seattle Divorce Services
    Seattle Divorce Services | Michael V. Fancher
    Under Washington law, assume that the assets are jointly owned by both of you until the court divides them up. You may have to ask the court to make some decisions at the beginning of the case as to who has use of which assets pending a final resolution (i.e. who will live in the house, who pays what bills, etc.) The case is started by filing a petition for dissolution with the court and serving a copy on the other party. To make sure you do this correctly, consult with an attorney in your area.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/30/2011
    Ashman Law Office
    Ashman Law Office | Glen Edward Ashman
    First of all, unless you want a financial and legal catastrophe, get a lawyer. Secondly, gain patience. Divorces, unless uncontested, tend to take a long time. Uncontested cases, which are far cheaper and faster, require you to get along and reach an agreement. There is no decision on assets on day one.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 7/30/2011
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    To describe the entire divorce process take more than a few paragraphs. Additionally, it depends on the particular facts of your case.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/30/2011
    Law Office of Patricia Van Haren
    Law Office of Patricia Van Haren | Patricia Van Haren
    If the property was acquired during the marriage, both of you own the house, cars, and everything equally. Until you file for divorce and the court determines the division of property, you will both retain joint ownership over everything. As a divorce can be a long and complicated process, you should contact a family law attorney to assist you in filing for divorce.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/30/2011
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock | Arlene D. Kock
    It would be sensible to meet with a skilled family law attorney to discuss your legal options and file a petition to start the divorce process.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/30/2011
    Law Offices of Paul A. Eads, A.P.C.
    Law Offices of Paul A. Eads, A.P.C. | Paul A. Eads
    File for divorce at the local courthouse or call a lawyer for a consultation right away.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/30/2011
    Beresford Booth PLLC
    Beresford Booth PLLC | S. Scott Burkhalter
    You start the process by filing a petition for dissolution and other required legal forms in the County where you reside. *
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/30/2011
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