If you are ready to divorce your spouse, you may be curious about what to expect from the process. It can be scary to embark on a divorce, so knowing what happens next is helpful to soothe your nerves.
FindLaw explains the process always begins when you file the petition to request a divorce with the court.
You should make sure you file with the proper court, which is usually the court in the county in which you live. You do need to have lived in the county for at least 90 days. Otherwise, you would file in the county where you have residency of at least 90 days.
Once you file, you must serve your spouse with a copy of the paperwork. You cannot give him or her the papers yourself. You can hire someone else to do it for you.
You may also get a waiver, which will mean you do not have to give him or her the paperwork. You can get a waiver if your spouse agrees to not receive the documents and you will have an uncontested divorce. Your spouse would have to sign a waiver form with notarization.
After you serve your spouse, your spouse has the right to file an answer. The answer would be an objection or proposal of what he or she wants from the divorce. He or she has until Monday 20 days after receiving the documents.
You will usually try to work with your spouse to come to an agreement on the important points, including child support and custody, property division and spousal support. If you can agree, you will present that agreement to the court. If you cannot agree, you will go before the court and the judge will decide.
Once you have an agreement, the court will make a final ruling. Your marriage will be over once the judge declares your divorce order.