You already know the meaning of a divorce, which is the act of legally terminating a marriage. Since this is done legally, you need to fill out forms and file them with a court. If you've never had to serve divorce papers, here's a quick look at the process.
What Are the Kinds of Divorce?
There are two main types of divorce and serving divorce papers will look different depending on which route you take.
1. An amicable divorce: This is a divorce where you and your spouse agree that you need a divorce and do it peacefully. You come to terms with how to equally share marital property and custody of your children in a way that caters to the best interests of your children. Serving divorce papers in this type of divorce may not apply because you and your spouse both want the divorce and have come to an understanding.
2. An unamicable or hostile divorce: This is a kind of divorce that results when one spouse is bitter about the other, maybe because of something they did—something like cheating, domestic abuse or violence, mistreatment, etc. The bitter spouse can serve divorce papers to the other spouse that indicate their intention to terminate the marriage. Since this is not a mutual agreement that was arrived at peacefully, the serving of divorce papers applies.
What Is Serving Divorce Papers?
If you want to divorce your partner because they did something wrong to you or you don't love them anymore, serving them with divorce papers is your option. This means that you have to file a divorce petition to a court. The petition highlights that you want to divorce your partner and what you want out of the divorce. This includes things like particular properties and child custody.
You are also expected to let your spouse know of your actions. Therefore, you need to send a copy of your petition to your spouse. You are not supposed to serve your spouse with divorce papers yourself; this should be done by a reputable person who is over 18 years old. Many people choose to work through their divorce lawyer.
What Is Your Spouse Supposed to Do?
Once your spouse receives the divorce papers, they can either agree to your terms or not. Agreeing or disagreeing means filing an answer to the court, after which you are expected to present yourselves in court on a particular date for a hearing. Your legal representation can guide you through the process whether or not your spouse agrees to the terms.