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An Overview of the Divorce Process

The goal of the legal process of divorce is to end the marriage and decide such issues as child custody, visitation, child support, alimony (sometimes called spousal support or maintenance), property and debt division and attorney's fees and costs.

A divorce judgment can be based on an agreement between the parties or result from a trial. An agreement is usually less traumatic for you and your children, and less expensive than a trial. Ultimately, most cases are resolved without a trial.

Divorce Proceedings

The divorce process varies from state to state. What procedures are available and how long the process lasts is unique to each state's court system. Your lawyer can explain how the process works in your state. [However, in general, the following milestones and issues illustrates the divorce process:]*

  • The Petition
  • The Response
  • Temporary Orders
  • Discovery
  • Negotiated Settlement
  • Trial
  • Alternative Dispute Resolution
    • Mediation
    • Arbitration
  • Your Conduct
  • After the Divorce
    • Modification
    • Enforcement
    • Omitted Property
  • Some Questions and Answers about the Divorce Process
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The information contained in this web site is not legal advice; it is for educational purposes only. Use of does not create an attorney/client relationship between you and Nissenbaum Law Offices, even if you provide this web site, whether by e-mail or through one of its software programs, with your personal or confidential information. If you are in the process of (or contemplating) a divorce or involved in any legal matter, you should hire a lawyer.

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* Editor's amendation