We Answer Your Top 5 Divorce-Related Questions
No one enjoys going through a divorce, but unfortunately, they still occur every day. Divorce is something that you should not take lightly because its outcomes can drastically affect your future. You should always be prepared when you decide there are no other options left for your marriage. That’s why we put this article together to answer five important questions.
5 Frequently Asked Questions About Divorce
What is an “Uncontested Divorce?”
An uncontested divorce is probably something that most people want when it comes to the subject. This type of case is when both parties agree to the divorce and the terms of the settlement of all issues. These issues can include property and debt division, alimony, and child custody and support. An uncontested divorce can also be called a consent divorce.
What are the Procedures for a Divorce?
In order to start the divorce process, you must begin by filing a document with the court. This document is called a Complaint or a Petition, depending on what state you live in. Some states call the procedure a divorce, while others call it a dissolution of marriage.
According to Legal Zoom, a copy of the Complaint is served on (or officially delivered to) your spouse, usually by the sheriff’s office or process server. Though this step will not be required if you and your spouse have agreed to all terms made.
Your spouse will be given a certain number of days to respond to the Complaint. How the case proceeds from there will depend upon how your spouse’s response. Some of the responses may include:
- An agreement may be reached.
- Your spouse may file a response (either agreeing to what you’ve requested in the Complaint or rejecting it)
- Your spouse may choose not reply at all.
Other documents may also need to be filed as well. If you need help filing for a divorce, you can find a divorce attorney in Hawaii to help you get started.
How Much Will a Divorce Cost?
There are both fixed costs and costs that can change when it comes to divorce. The fixed costs are usually when you file the paperwork. This fee goes to the court. There is also a fee paid to have legal papers served to your spouse. These costs vary from state to state but typically are in the range of $200 to $500.
Other costs include fees for document preparation and legal representation by an attorney. The attorney’s fees can vary and are known for being quite expensive. But this factor usually depends on the details of the case. Extra costs may also come into play if the court orders any additional services.
How Long Does a Divorce Take?
There are several factors that may affect the amount of time needed to get a divorce. Some of these are legal requirements, which vary by state.
Residency Requirements: This is the length of time one or both parties must be a resident of the state. Residency requirements range from none to a full year.
Separation Requirements: In many states, it is actually required for the party to be living separately for a certain amount of time. Separation requirements can range from none at all to three years.
Waiting Periods: Some states require that a certain amount of time passes between filing for divorce. Waiting periods range from none to 90 days.
Other Requirements: Legal Zoom also states that some states may require additional services such as mediation of issues in dispute, marriage counseling, or a parent education class relating to how divorce affects children. In addition to legal requirements, there are also other factors that may affect the amount of time it takes, such as how long it takes to have your spouse served with divorce papers.
What if I Can’t Locate My Spouse?
If you don’t know the whereabouts of your spouse, you may still get a divorce. You will need to take certain steps to attempt to locate your spouse and to notify him or her that you have filed for divorce.
There are many ways to go about this. Such as:
- Checking the telephone listing where your spouse is last known to have lived
- Asking friends and relatives if they know where they might be
- Check with the post office to see if there is a forwarding address
- Look for property records to see if he or she owns the property
- Try finding state records for driver’s license or vehicle registrations
- Contact their last known employer or landlord.
If you still can’t locate your spouse, there is a procedure called service by publication. Service by publication is when you obtain the court’s permission to publish a notice of the divorce in a newspaper. Once this is done, you may proceed with the divorce case.
You will be able to get divorced and be awarded custody of any children. However, you may not be able to get the full resolution of property division, alimony or child support, until your spouse is personally served with court papers.
After reading all of this, don’t assume you are an expert. If you are in the mists of a divorce and are in need of consultation, contact the trustworthy Hawaii attorneys at Cain and Herrin. Not only do they specialize in Family Law, but they are skilled in other forms of law as well.