Understanding the Divorce Process: Step-by-Step Guide - Part 1

Understanding the Divorce Process: Step-by-Step Guide - Part 1

When you've made the difficult decision to pursue a divorce, understanding the stages of the process can help you navigate it with clarity and confidence. In this blog series, we will guide you through the various stages of the divorce process, providing valuable insights to empower you during this challenging time. Let's begin with Step One: Filing a Complaint for Divorce.

Step one- File a complaint for divorce with the court:

  • The court returns the complaint with a docket number. The first party to file is named as the plaintiff and the other is the defendant.
  • If there is a co-respondent (Adultery is involved)- Serve notice to the co-respondent within 30 days. An affidavit of compliance is then filed with the court.
  • Plaintiff serves the defendant with the summons and complaint within 10 days of receiving filed complaint back from the court and the plaintiff files proof of service.
  • If the defendant answered within 35 days, the plaintiff files an answer to the counterclaim within 20 days.
  • If the defendant did not respond within 35 days. A request to enter default is filed.
    • If there is a signed settlement agreement, a default hearing and uncontested divorce is conducted.
    • If there is no settlement agreement, serve the defendant with notice of the proposed final judgement 20 days before the default hearing.

To learn more about the subsequent stages of the divorce process, including case management and discovery, continue reading Part Two of our blog series. In our next article, we will explore Step Two and Three: Case Management and Discovery. Stay tuned for valuable insights to help you navigate the divorce process effectively.

If you require assistance with filing a complaint for divorce or have any questions regarding the process, please don't hesitate to contact our office for professional guidance.

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