A divorce is the process of terminating a marriage or a civil union. The specifics of the divorce process may differ based on jurisdiction, but most places involve a basic framework for divorces, and is fairly similar across countries, especially those that use systems based on English Civil Law. Couples who have not been married long and do not have minor children involved tend to have easier divorces in terms of legal aspects whereas couples who have been married for a long time, have numerous joint assets and debt, or have minor children generally have a lot of legal complications arising due to the divorce which take a significant amount of time to finalise. Moreover, couples who cooperate with their attorneys and each other to reach a mutually agreeable solution is able to end the process much faster than if they were unwilling or unable to cooperate and must contest in a court of law. Many legal consultation services such as family law Brisbane have professionals that specialise in marriage and divorce due to the intricacies present in the legal systems regarding marriage and divorce.

The Divorce Process

The process is initiated with one party filing the divorce petition. If the divorce is mutually agreed upon, the receiving party simply needs to sign the papers to acknowledge receipt of the divorce petition. If they are opposed or cannot be found, a legal service may be required to formally serve the papers. If the recipient fails to respond within a certain time limit, they are considered as having defaulted on the petition. Responding to a divorce petition implies that the responding party also agrees to the divorce which increases the likelihood of the case being settled out of court. The response may be used to disagree or contest any information presented in the initial petition.

Some jurisdictions have a no-fault divorce process where couples who mutually agree to divorce can go through a more streamlined process where the divorce petition does not necessarily place blame on either party, and allow them to collaborate on the divorce settlements.

Temporary orders may be requested for custody, property restraining, child support etc. through the waiting period of the divorce and may be granted by the court following an initial hearing. They are used to ensure that a party who is dependant on their spouse is taken care of until the divorce is finalised. Property restraining orders prevent the parties from disposing of their assets until the divorce is finalised.

The parties involved in the divorce can proceed to negotiating a settlement with the assistance of their attorneys in order to arrive at an agreeable compromise. In areas like child support, custody or division of property, the couple will need to work together an arrange a division system. If they are unable to do so and further negotiations are deemed useless, a long and potentially expensive divorce trial begins and the issue is taken to court, where the decision falls to a judge.