Getting divorced can be a daunting effort; but it need not be so if you have a sound strategy and are aware of each step in the divorce process.

Your attorney begins by filing with the court a petition (complaint) that sets out why you want to divorce and how matters such as finances, custody, etc. should be settled. The petition along with a summons is then served on your spouse who is required to respond within a certain time.

Subsequently, each spouse submits relevant financial information prior to a scheduled mediation. If no agreement is reached at mediation, the case goes to trial.

At trial, your attorney presents evidence and arguments in support of your petition. After hearing the arguments on both sides, the judge decides any unresolved matters such as child custody and visitation rights, child and spousal support, and property division.

After reaching a decision, the judge grants the divorce.

How long does this process take? It can be completed within a few months or it can drag on for years depending on the couple’s willingness to compromise and be reasonable.