Filing a Divorce Complaint
The Divorce process begins with the filing of a Complaint in Divorce, usually in the county in which the parties' resided. The Complaint is then served on the other party via certified mail or by sheriff's service. The Complaint in Divorce formally informs your spouse that you are requesting that the marriage be dissolved. The Divorce Complaint also lists other relief that you are requesting such as property division, requests for child and/or spousal support and custody. You cannot request the court to take any action without first filing a divorce complaint.
Negotiating a Settlement
You may complete the entire divorce process without ever having to go to court. Often times each party will retain the services of an attorney and the attorneys will exchange information and negotiate a settlement of all issues in your case. This settlement becomes a written court order and your case is completed. Other times the couple getting divorced has already agreed on what they want to do before ever seeing the lawyer. In this situation the lawyer sees to it that the proper paperwork is processed according to the rules of the court and makes sure that you will not have any problems in the future. In all cases an attorney is necessary to ensure that you are treated fairly and that your case is handled properly so that you will not have future problems.