What Is Action for Divorce?

By Wayne Thomas

A divorce is legal in nature and proceeds much like any other lawsuit. For that reason, the process for obtaining a divorce is often referred to as an "action for divorce." Although states can vary on the specific steps, the purpose of a divorce action is to legally dissolve the marriage and settle matters related to property, spousal support, and child custody and support.

A divorce is legal in nature and proceeds much like any other lawsuit. For that reason, the process for obtaining a divorce is often referred to as an "action for divorce." Although states can vary on the specific steps, the purpose of a divorce action is to legally dissolve the marriage and settle matters related to property, spousal support, and child custody and support.

Overview of a Divorce Action

A divorce action starts with one spouse filling out and filing a complaint for divorce. The complaint includes the reason for divorce, also known as the grounds for divorce. Grounds differ from state to state, but all states have no-fault grounds, such as separation for a period of time, while most states also have fault-based grounds, such as adultery. The next step is to provide a copy of the complaint to the other spouse, typically in person through the assistance of a sheriff or process server. The receiving spouse has a set amount of time to respond in writing. The parties are then provided with a period to exchange information and reach agreement on the major divorce issues. If they cannot agree to the terms of their divorce, the court schedules a trial, and then issues a final divorce judgment after both parties present their cases.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
90 Day Cooling Off Period for a Divorce in Pennsylvania

References

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Can a Husband Get a Divorce if His Wife Will Not Give Him Consent in Massachusetts?

Divorces can be a simple process if both spouses agree to the divorce and its terms, including property division, alimony and child custody. However, spouses can divorce even if they do not agree on the terms of the divorce, and neither spouse can prevent a divorce by not giving consent in Massachusetts.

Documents for Divorce & Alimony

Divorces necessarily involve the exchange of information. The bulk of this exchange is generally handled outside the courtroom through written requests contained in standard court documents. Although state procedures can vary, courts have specific forms that the parties need to complete and submit to start a divorce, continue the divorce process and determine divorce-related matters, such as alimony. If you need assistance with the forms, an online legal document service can fill them out and submit them for you.

Time That it Takes to Finalize a Divorce in New Jersey

Filing for divorce can be a stressful and emotional process. Therefore, knowing how long you can expect your divorce case to take to become final can help you prepare. Many factors can determine how long it takes to finalize your divorce in New Jersey. For example, if you and your spouse do not agree about the important terms of your divorce -- including the division of assets and whether one spouse will receive spousal support -- it can lengthen the time it takes to finalize your divorce.

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