Divorce law can be very complex, especially when the parties involved have been married over an extended period of time. Divorce laws are usually unique to different states and countries, therefore, aggrieved parties must understand the jurisdictional laws before filing a divorce. Divorce law is the series of steps taken to facilitate the dissolution of a marriage. The first step when seeking a divorce is consulting with a divorce attorney. Upon acquiring the legal services of a divorce attorney, he or she offers legal advice on the most appropriate ways to tackle the issue. Once separation is allowed, then either party may be expected to leave the home. The court can issue a separation agreement which is designed to protect conflicting parties including their kids. This is to ensure that both parties carry out their legal obligations without absconding. Once the separation has been duly effected, then the plaintiff files a complaint that will be directed to the county Prothonotary. The complaint will explicitly state the reasons for seeking the dissolution of the marriage.
Divorce law allows the collection of information from both parties involved in a divorce – this process is called “discovery”- and normally consist of five steps including:
1) Disclosure: This is the first step in a discovery process and it is the stage where both parties disclose what they have and what they think they are entitled to. This includes property division, child custody rights and personal assets. This list will be thoroughly examined within thirty days.
2) Interrogatories: These are a list of questions that are drafted by divorce attorneys. Answers are expected to be provided within a grace period of thirty days. While some states restrict the number of questions to be asked by the divorce attorney, others do not place restrictions on the number.
3) Admissions of facts:This is the third part of the discovery process which involves a statement of claims to the other party. Either both or one spouse will direct claims to the other party which must be denied or accepted within thirty days.
4) Request for production: This stage is where income and personal property information is collated. The spouse that is served with a request for production must comply within the allocated time which is most likely thirty days. At this stage, the rate at which the divorce is proceeding will be slightly reduced. The reason being that it involves collection of personal and documentary information which can be time consuming.
5) Depositions: This is the final stage of the entire “discovery” process. These are sworn testimonies of the opposing party and witnesses, and is used during the divorce process.
After getting the required information, a mediation or trial date is fixed. Mediation is the stage where both parties involved in the divorce meet with their attorney to discuss elaborately about the divorce and to look for a way to resolve the issue without further litigation. If a consensus cannot be reached within this period, then a trial date is fixed so that both parties can present and argue their case.