In Maryland and elsewhere, a divorce is disruptive and emotional. Many times, those who are considering a divorce have no idea where to start. Here are the first steps to take when divorce seems to be the only option left on the table.
Filing a petition
The first step to take when divorce becomes inevitable is to file a petition with the court. Spouses can do this together, or it can be done alone if one party doesn’t want to file. One of the things that will need to be included in the petition is the specific ground for divorce, which is often cited as Mutual Consent. Other things to include are proof of state residency requirements and information about any minor children.
Answering the petition
If one spouse files the petition, the respondent spouse will need to reply to the petition within a timeframe specified by the state. If the other party does not reply within this timeframe, the filing spouse can still proceed by seeking a default judgment. Failing to answer a properly served divorce petition could result in losing one’s ability to have a say in issues like property division, alimony, child custody or child support.
Divorce is not only an emotional process; it’s also a legal one. Before proceeding, it is typically beneficial for those in Maryland to seek the services of an experienced family law attorney. A knowledgeable legal professional can answer tough questions and provide legal guidance throughout every step of the divorce process.