FAQs About the Process Answered

Are you about to start the divorce process and have some questions?

You aren’t alone!

Whether you are in the US, Australia, or Japan, getting a divorce is one of the most difficult decisions to make, and, for many, it is shrouded in mystery. Even if you know someone who has been through a divorce, chances are they haven’t spoken about it to you!

So, going in, what are some of the things that most people want to know before they get a divorce? Here are five of the most commonly searched queries online answered. 

How do you file for divorce in the US?

Each state has its own official grounds for divorce, which can range from “irreconcilable differences” to “fault” grounds such as adultery or abandonment.

So, you must file a divorce petition or complaint with your local court via trained divorce lawyers. This document states your grounds for divorce, any requests for relief (such as alimony or child custody), and any other relevant information. Then, serve your spouse with the divorce papers. This can be done by a process server or your spouse signing an acceptance of service.

You must wait for a response from your spouse. Your spouse will have a certain amount of time, usually 20-30 days, to respond to the divorce petition.

What are the grounds for divorce in the US?

There are two main types of divorce grounds: “fault” and “no-fault” grounds.

Fault grounds: Some states still allow for divorce on the basis of fault, which means that one spouse must prove that the other spouse is responsible for the marriage breaking down. This would include something like adultery.

No-fault grounds: In most states, divorce can be obtained on the basis of no-fault grounds, which means that neither spouse needs to prove that the other is at fault for the breakdown of the marriage. This would include something like growing apart emotionally. 

How long does a divorce take?

In states where divorce can be obtained on the basis of no-fault grounds, the process can be relatively quick. In some states, a divorce can be final as soon as six months after the initial filing. In states that allow for fault-based grounds, the divorce process can take significantly longer. This is because fault-based grounds require the couple to go to trial, and the court must determine that one spouse is at fault for the breakdown of the marriage before granting the divorce.

How should a high-conflict divorce be handled?

With the help of an experienced lawyer!

You will need to try to keep things as civil as possible if your spouse is putting barriers in place relating to the divorce process. Please note that in cases where your ex-partner is being belligerent, you will usually need to go through the court, which may mean it will take longer. So, you will need to be patient too!

Can you divorce without a lawyer?

You can, but it isn’t wise. This is because there may be issues that occur in the process, which can slow the divorce down, and you will need the help of a trained lawyer. So, seek one out at the earliest opportunity.