Winning Tactics For A Smooth Divorce
The term “smooth divorce” may be an oxymoron, meaning there may not really be such a thing as a smooth divorce. Divorces typically are a dramatic schism in a couple’s lives, ending five, ten, or even thirty years of a relationship. Something like that can be painful, messy, and even violent. Nevertheless, there are certain steps that you can take during a divorce that can make a separation and divorce go as relatively smoothly as possible. These can include choosing the right divorce lawyer and knowing your state’s divorce law.
The first step you should take in your divorce is to fill out the divorce form called a Petition. Some states may call this divorce form a Complaint. Whatever its name, the form is what lets the state court and your spouse know that you are officially filing for a divorce. The divorce form also announces your terms for the divorce, such as child support and custody, debt and property splitting up, and attorney’s fees. These terms are important, so be certain to invest time on them with your lawyer.
You spouse will then file her or his own divorce form in response, called opposing papers, or simply, a response. If you are on this end of the divorce-the response side-be certain to prepare yours within your state’s time limits. Some states have strict timelines by which opposing papers must be filed within. Otherwise, you lose your rights to argue your side of the divorce in court.
After both these divorce forms are settled, then the temporary orders are set up to regulate the conduct between you and your soon to be ex-spouse while the divorce is in progress. While this is taking place, the best advice for anyone in separation and divorce is to work toward alternative dispute resolution, meaning an out-of-court settlement. Why? Typically, divorces that go to court are the most messy and difficult, especially for the kids that may be caught in the middle.
During this whole process, possibly the best thing you can also do for yourself is get an experienced and well-respected divorce lawyer. The attorney may cost you more in the short run, but in the long-term side of things, you could save your relationship with your kids, much of your property, and even possibly a friendship with your spouse. A good lawyer will also inform you of your rights under divorce law, helping you to make the best decisions for yourself, your property, and your family.