What to Expect in Divorce

Divorce Proceeds in Stages

Divorce can be a long process, and it is not something that will happen overnight. Unless you and your spouse are able to reach a quick, amicable settlement, you should expect your divorce to last anywhere from six months to a year. During that time, you will want an Ocala divorce lawyer by your side who genuinely cares about your best interests - one who is compassionate when you experience emotional trauma, aggressive when the other party tries to violate your rights, and accessible whenever you call with questions or concerns.

Legal Stages of Divorce

Divorce is a complex legal procedure. The basic process, however, follows a relatively rigid, simple structure, as outlined below:

  • One spouse files a petition for dissolution of marriage (it doesn't matter who files first - there is no advantage either way)
  • The other spouse is served with divorce papers, and has 20 days to file an answer
  • Next is a period of mandatory disclosure, during which both spouses turn over bank records, tax returns, 401(k)s and other financial statements so their attorneys can gain a sense of how to fairly divide the marital property
  • Meanwhile, there may be a temporary relief hearing where either spouse can ask for exclusive use and possession of the house as well as temporary alimony, parenting time and child support arrangements
  • After the mandatory disclosure period, the parties go into mediation, though if they cannot resolve all their issues in mediation, the case must then go to trial in a contested divorce
  • In divorces involving domestic violence, mediation may be excused and the case would go directly to trial

Emotional Stages of Divorce

At some point, you loved your spouse enough to marry him or her, and now you are filing for divorce. You can expect to experience powerful emotions as the divorce unfolds. Handling family law exclusively, the team at Anne E. Raduns, PA has observed that people facing divorce often go through emotional stages similar to the stages of grieving and usually experience the strong emotions of:

  • Anger and frustration
  • Remorse and sadness
  • Guilt and blame
  • Resolution and recovery
  • Anticipation for the ability to move on in life

Of course, everyone experiences this process differently, and not every relationship falls neatly into this pattern. Usually, after a few months, the divorcing couple is able to communicate effectively again. After seven to eight months, most divorced individuals have recovered emotionally enough to stand on their own feet and regain a sense of normalcy in their lives. This may be a difficult time for you, but help is available at our firm. Call us now for an initial case evaluation.