The process of ending a marriage is complex and difficult. Most North Carolina adults who make the choice to file for divorce are unsure of what to expect from the process after filing the initial paperwork. If you are about to go through a divorce, you will find it beneficial to know what’s ahead and prepare yourself to fight for a fair and reasonable post-divorce future.
There can be challenges even in situations where the two parties are resolved to remain amicable during their divorce. Even if you and your soon-to-be ex are working on resolving your divorce out of court, it is still important to pursue terms that are in your interests. When you understand what is ahead, you will be equipped to make practical, prudent and smart choices that will lay the foundation for a strong post-divorce future.
What is going to happen?
The first step in the divorce process is to figure out where you will need to file your divorce petition, which is usually in the county where you reside. One decision you will have to make when preparing your petition is whether you are filing for a fault or no fault divorce. There may also be papers you have to sign for custody and support matters. After preparing the petition, one party will typically serve the other with the papers.
The spouse served with divorce papers will have to respond. It is critical to respond within the time frame specified in state divorce laws. Moving forward from this point, you may have the opportunity to speak to the court about what you hope you accomplish in your divorce and what you want from the final resolution.
You do not have to go to court to secure a divorce order that is fair and sustainable. It may be possible through negotiations or alternative dispute resolution to come to terms that make sense for your unique situation. However, it is still beneficial to have the support and guidance of an experienced attorney, even if you do not think you will have to go to court.
Before you agree to terms
Your goal during your divorce should be to secure terms that allow you to have a strong and secure post-divorce future. It is helpful to have experienced guidance as you negotiate, discuss and make decisions that will impact your family long term. There is a lot on the line for you, and it is in your interests to have the support of a legal professional who can help you make smart choices.