Required Pleadings

First, a Complaint must be filed that lists your statistical information and will allege that irreconcilable differences have arisen. Then both you and your spouse will have to sign a Marital Dissolution Agreement( MDA) and a Parenting Plan (PP) if minor children were born of the marriage. The MDA describes exactly how your assets such as real property, investment and retirement accounts, vehicles, personal property and bank accounts will be divided between you. The MDA will also list who will be responsible for any and all debts either party has incurred and whether alimony will be paid. The PP will describe the co-parenting schedule, list child support and how decisions will be made. If the parties fail to agree on all of these issues, you may have to file a contested divorce.


Waiting Period

Once the Complaint, MDA and PP are filed with the Court, there is a sixty day waiting period if no children are involved and ninety days if there are children. During this interim, the parties must complete parenting classes if they have minor children. A notice must also be sent by the attorney to either party if their health insurance coverage will terminate as a result of the divorce.


Final Hearing and Post-Divorce Issues

At the end of the waiting period, you will attend a Final Hearing with your attorney who will have drafted a Final Decree for the Judge to sign, which will declare you divorced officially. This is the document you will use to change your name, insurance beneficiaries, etc. The hearing is normally very short and usually held at the beginning of the court's docket. After the Final Hearing, you may need to finalize several issues, such as signing Quit Claim Deeds to remove a spouse's name from real property or transferring retirement account funds. These issues are usually addressed after the Final Decree is signed by the Judge.