Step #1: Meet with an experienced divorce attorney, to be educated about the process and what to expect from the court. You need to know what to expect the court to do and not do.
Step #2: Either have an attorney prepare & file the divorce petition for you, OR take the court's divorce kit to an attorney to have him/her help you fill it out (in my office you can combine Step #1 & Step #2 into one appointment for only $150.).
Step #3: Have your spouse served with the divorce papers. If you hire an attorney he/she will handle this for you, OR you can give the service documents to the county sheriff for service.
Step #4: Exchanging documents relevant to financial affairs, debts & assets. If you have an attorney he/she will handle that for you.
Step #5: Try to negotiate a settlement. If you come to an agreement, go to an attorney to have the divorce judgment PROPERLY prepared. In my office, we prepare divorce judgments for a flat fee of between $500 & $1000, depending upon the complexity.
Step #6: If you can't settle, go to trial so the judge can make all the decisions about assets, debts, support, custody, etc. The trial will be held about 6-9 months after you file.
A weekly guide with tips and legal advice for each stage of the process.