If you want to get divorced what is the first step?

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If you want to get divorced what is the first step?

Asked on January 3, 2012 under Family Law, Pennsylvania

Answers:

Kelly Broadbent / Broadbent & Taylor

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

The first step depends on whether you are in agreement that you want to get divorced and how to divide property and arrange for child custody or if you are in dispute.

If you are in dispute, you want to go to the Probate and Family Court and pick up the paperwork to file a divorce.  You must complete all the paperwork, attach a copy of your marriage certificate and file it with the court.  There is a filing fee to do so. You will then need to serve your spouse with the divorce paperwork.  The court will assign a date for a pretrial conference several months out, giving you time to try to come to a resolution regarding property or children.  You may also file a motion for temporary orders if there are pressing issues (child custody, child support, who stays in the marital home, etc.).

If you are in agreement with the divorce, you may be able to file a joint petition.  To do this, you should sit down with your spouse to figure out how to distribute property.  (It helps to sit down with a lawyer who can mediate your property distribution and write out a seperation agreement for you). Once you have a seperation agreement, you need to fill out the paperwork for a joint petition for divorce.  (A lawyer can provide it to you, it is available on the court website, or in the clerk's office).  Once everything is filled out and signed, you and your spouse can walk it into the clerk's office and actually begin the divorce process that day.  If you have children, you will both need to take a parenting class prior to going into the court. 


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