1. Gather all your important documents:
This includes important financial and legal documents, such as your tax returns, mortgage information, and contact information for your attorney, accountant, and other professionals.
2. Determine your legal grounds for divorce:
There are a variety of reasons you may be able to file for a divorce, such as adultery, desertion, or cruelty. You will need to determine which grounds apply to your situation.
3. Draft a divorce petition:
This document formally requests that the court grant you a divorce. It must include specific information, such as your name, the date of your marriage, and the grounds for the divorce.
4. Notify your spouse of the divorce petition:
In order to start the divorce process, you must notify your spouse of the petition and supporting documents. You can do this in person, by mail, or by electronic service.
5. Serve your spouse with the petition and supporting documents:
After notifying your spouse, you must formally serve them with the petition and any accompanying documents. This can be done by a process server or sheriff's deputy.
6. File the proof of service with the court:
Once you have served your spouse with the petition and documents, you must file proof of service with the court. This document verifies that they were served properly.
7. Obtain copies of all filed court documents:
After filing the proof of service, you will be able to obtain copies of all filed court documents from the clerk's office.
8. Request temporary orders from the court:
If necessary, you can request temporary orders from the court to help protect your interests during the divorce proceedings. These orders typically deal with issues such as child custody, child support, and spousal support.
9. Review financial disclosures from both parties:
In order to come up with a fair settlement proposal, you will need to review both parties' financial disclosures carefully. This will give you an idea of each party's income and assets.
10. Prepare and submit a settlement proposal to the other party:
Once you have gathered all this information, it's time to put together a settlement proposal for the other party to consider. This proposal should outline what each party is asking for in terms of assets, child custody arrangements, and other issues. If the other party agrees to the proposal, you can then submit it to the court for approval.