What Will Happen Once My Wife Has Filed for Divorce?
- Once your wife files for divorce, you'll receive a summons in the mail. The law varies from place to place, but in most U.S. states, you must answer this summons within 20 days of receipt. The summons will typically include basic information about your marriage, including where you lived, your property, any children you had and the reasons for the divorce. You must prepare your answer by either admitting or denying each statement, and filling in any additional details. Return this answer to the summons to the Clerk of the court in your county. You must usually serve your wife with a copy of the answer, as well.
Negotiation and Settlement
- There's a chance you and your wife will have disagreements about property and who gets what after the divorce. Many couples hire lawyers to help them come to a settlement, but this can be quite expensive, and often involves months in court besides. Another option is to hire a mediator, who acts as a third party who will help you and your wife come to an agreement about asset division. Mediators are almost always less expensive than attorneys, and are endorsed by most family court systems.
- If you received a summons for divorce but disagree with the grounds for divorce, or are unable to come to an agreement with a mediator or attorney, your divorce will be forwarded to a family law judge and a trial will be set. Trial is usually quite expensive. The longer you disagree, the more you will spend on court and lawyer's fees. Settling the details of divorce in a calm, kind manner will reduce stress and decrease the financial burden for both parties.
- The Order of Dissolution ends the marriage officially and spells out the details of the divorce. If you and your wife are able to settle the terms of your divorce with either a lawyer or a mediator, you will draft the dissolution document yourself and submit it to a family law judge for approval. The judge will usually approve the order as long as both parties were a part of its creation, agreed to it and signed it willingly. If the details of the divorce are settled in court, the dissolution is drafted and issued by the court at the end of the trial and signed by both parties.