Divorce Procedure

The first step in the divorce process is usually sitting down with the attorney so that they have an opportunity to gather information necessary for them to prepare the initial filing documents which may include the complaint, temporary orders, summons, and in some cases subpoenas or other discovery materials. The complaint is then filed in the courthouse in the county of your residence. When temporary orders are requested it may take up to 14 days to have these materials returned to your attorney. Once these temporary orders are returned to your attorney’s office, the attorney will then contact you to discuss how you wish to have your spouse served. Once your spouse is served they have between 21 and 28 days, depending on the method of service, to respond with a formal, legal answer. The initial filing of your complaint in your county’s courthouse commences the minimum waiting period required for finalization of your divorce. In cases not involving minor children the minimum waiting period before a case can be finalized is 60 days. In cases involving minor children there is a minimum waiting period of 6 months. Most cases take anywhere between 6-12 months to complete. After your spouse is served with the initial complaint the case will enter a period called the discovery period. This period is utilized for the exchange of information between both parties so that the court and the attorneys have a clear idea of all assets, liabilities and other issues that need to be addressed during the commencement of the case.