If you are planning to file for divorce, there are a few facts that you should know before heading to the courthouse. Taking the time to review these facts outlined below can help you to avoid potential delays in the processing of your divorce petition and will allow you to seek out the legal services that are best suited to your needs.
Fact #1: Divorce Paralegals Cannot Represent You In Court
Nowadays, many paralegals offer their services to individuals who are looking to get divorced but are looking for a more affordable way to complete the necessary documents. While these services will be beneficial for some people, it is important to understand that these services cannot replace the services of a qualified divorce attorney. This is because a divorce paralegal will be legally limited in the services that they can provide. For instance, while a paralegal can help you to complete your divorce petition, they will be unable to provide you with legal advice or represent you in court if your spouse chooses to contest your divorce.
Fact #2: An Uncontested Divorce Is Not The Same As A Simplified Divorce
Individuals often assume that they can file a simplified divorce petition due to the fact that both spouses agree upon the need for a divorce. However, the truth is, being uncontested is just one of the requirements that a divorce must meet in order to qualify for the simplified process.
In order to file a simplified divorce petition, your divorce case will need to meet all of the following criteria.
- You and your spouse agree that the marriage is irretrievably broken
- You and your spouse share no children in common
- You and your spouse agree on the division of all marital property and debts
If your case meets all of these criteria, you may be able to finalize your divorce faster by choosing to file a simplified divorce petition rather than a traditional petition. In the end, this simplified process can save you both time and money.
Fact #3: You Cannot Personally Serve Your Spouse With Divorce Papers
On television, you routinely see individuals serving their spouse with divorce papers after a big argument. This is not the way things work in real life. In order for delivery of your divorce papers to be legally binding, your spouse must be served by another legal adult that is able to testify to the fact that your spouse was served. This is often done by an attorney, like those at Hart Law Offices, PC, or legal service that specializes in serving legal notices.
In order to ensure that the processing of your divorce petition is not delayed due to improper procedure, you will need to ensure that you have made arrangements for your spouse to be served in a timely manner after filing this petition with the court.