How do I obtain a divorce? 27 Answers as of July 03, 2013

I would like to know what is the first step to obtain a divorce decree.

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Reeves Law Firm, P.C.
Reeves Law Firm, P.C. | Roy L. Reeves
Hire a lawyer. Divorce can be a do-it-yourself affair but if your case is one that can be done alone, it is one that can be done with the two of you paying one lawyer to draft up all the documents and get it done right the first time.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 11/29/2011
Beaulier Law Office
Beaulier Law Office | Maury Beaulier
You may commence a divorce by serving and filing a Summons and Petition for Divorce setting out the facts and the relief you are requesting in the divorce proceeding. your spouse, the respondent, has thirty (30) days to file a response to that Petition indicating to the Court where they disagree. If they fail to file a timely response, you may file for a default judgment seeking an order based on your Petition. If your spouse responds to the Petition, the matter can be ended at any time when an agreement is reached, or, if it cannot be reached, in a trial of the issues.
Answer Applies to: Minnesota
Replied: 11/29/2011
Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A.
Joanna Mitchell & Associates, P.A. | Joanna Mitchell
The first step should always be to consult an attorney in order to determine your potential rights, options and issues. Then, once you are fully informed, then you file (or hire an attorney to file for you) a petition for dissolution of marriage and serve that on the other party.
Answer Applies to: Florida
Replied: 11/29/2011
Fredric H. Aaron, Attorney at Law, P.C.
Fredric H. Aaron, Attorney at Law, P.C. | Fredric Harlan Aaron
You commence a divorce by filing a summons and complaint with the Supreme Court having jurisdiction over your place of residence or that of your spouse, and serving a copy of the summons and complaint on your spouse. Before going forward with any action in your divorce, you should consult an experienced matrimonial attorney to assist you in the process.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 11/28/2011
Law Office of James Lentz
Law Office of James Lentz | James Lentz
Usually the first step is to find an attorney and discuss the issues that have brought you to a divorce.
Answer Applies to: Ohio
Replied: 11/28/2011
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock
    Law Offices of Arlene D. Kock | Arlene D. Kock
    File and serve a petition for divorce.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/28/2011
    Palomino Law Firm, P.C.
    Palomino Law Firm, P.C. | Debra Palomino
    Check out Maricopa County Superior Court website for forms and instructions.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 7/3/2013
    AyerHoffman, LLP
    AyerHoffman, LLP | Cara Lee Thompson
    You will want to file a complaint for divorce and serve this complaint along with the summons issued by the court on your spouse. Although the rules and laws of your jurisdiction along with the court will dictate the progression of your divorce from there, you may want to consult an attorney who specializes in Family Law to ensure that your rights are protected.
    Answer Applies to: Massachusetts
    Replied: 11/28/2011
    Donaldson Stewart, PC
    Donaldson Stewart, PC | Monica H. Donaldson Stewart
    The first step in a divorce is to file a Petition for Dissolution. If you live in Maricopa County, you can obtain the forms/instructions at www.superiorcourt.maricopa.gov, self-service center. I recommend you consult with an attorney for additional information and guidance.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 11/28/2011
    Law Offices of Stephanie Lee Ehrbright, Esq.
    Law Offices of Stephanie Lee Ehrbright, Esq. | Stephanie Lee Ehrbright
    You can either file a petition yourself with Superior Court or hire an attorney to do it for you. Then you would need to have the person you are divorcing served with the papers.
    Answer Applies to: Arizona
    Replied: 11/28/2011
    Michael Apicella
    Michael Apicella | Apicella Law and Mediation
    The first step to obtain a "judgment of marriage dissolution" in California is to file the following forms: (1) Petition for Marriage Dissolution (form FL-100); (2) Summons (form FL-110); and if you have minor children, (3) UCCJEA Declaration (form FL-105).
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/28/2011
    Law Office of Cassandra Savoy
    Law Office of Cassandra Savoy | Cassandra Savoy
    You need to file a complaint. The complaint tells the court why you are filing, whether there are children, and whether there are assets of the marriage to be divided. Most people need a lawyer because the law in this area is quite nuanced and specialized.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 11/28/2011
    Wolfstone, Panchot & Bloch, P.S., Inc.
    Wolfstone, Panchot & Bloch, P.S., Inc. | Mark Brown
    File a Petition For Dissolution of Marriage with the court.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 11/28/2011
    Glenn E. Tanner
    Glenn E. Tanner | Glenn E. Tanner
    File a petition.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 7/3/2013
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni
    Law Office of Michael W. Bugni | Jay W. Neff
    The first step is to file and serve a summons and petition for dissolution of marriage. In addition, depending on what county you are in and the exact circumstances of your case, there may be a number of other documents to be file and served at the same time.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 11/28/2011
    Petit & Dommershausen SC
    Petit & Dommershausen SC | Tajara Dommershausen
    File a petition for divorce and accompanying paperwork along with the filing fee.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 11/28/2011
    Law Office of Jennifer L. Marshall, LLC.
    Law Office of Jennifer L. Marshall, LLC. | Jennifer L. Marshall, Esq.
    The first step in any divorce is filing the Complaint for Divorce. The Complaint lays out your cause of action/reason for the divorce.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 11/28/2011
    Marca Tanner Attorney at Law | Marca Tanner
    The first step in obtaining a decree of divorce in the state of Utah is filing a Complaint for Decree of Divorce and getting a Summons from the court (you produce the Summons in triplicate, the court files it, you keep a copy, and you have one for the other party). This needs to be served on the other party, either by giving it to them directly along with a Summons and an Acceptance of Service document, or by having the Sheriff serve them the Complaint with a Summons. The Complaint needs to state that both or one of the parties live within the jurisdiction you're filing in, and have done so for at least 90 days prior to filing; that you are married, and the date you were married and city, county and state where you were married; whether there are any children of the marriage, and their initials and birthdates; and what your grounds for divorce arethis is usually irreconcilable differences. The Complaint then needs to spell out who should get physical and legal custody of the kids (if any); what child support will be, based on the State guidelines; who will provide medical insurance and how those expenses will be paid for the children; and how you think property should be divided (property includes both assets and debts.) This is just a bare-bones description. For more detailed information, you need to either contact an attorney, or go to the Utah State Courts website and look into their Self-help section.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 11/28/2011
    Goldberg Jones
    Goldberg Jones | Zephyr Hill
    Procedurally, the first step is filing a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with the nearest family law court house. However, the REAL first step depends on your game plan and strategy. You should consult with an experienced family law attorney before you make this decision.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/28/2011
    Law Offices of Laurie Peters
    Law Offices of Laurie Peters | Laurie Peters
    You need to file, and serve the documents.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 7/3/2013
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