What does it mean to File for Divorce?

Karen BigmanBlog, Divorce Process

What does “filing for divorce” really mean?

Starting a Divorce Action is the beginning of the divorce process from a legal perspective. This is not a requirement to start divorce negotiations. If for instance, you and your spouse have decided to use Mediation or the Collaborative process of divorce, you will file all your paperwork after you’ve reached an agreement so that the agreement can be enforced and you can ultimately be legally divorced.

Why file a Divorce Action?

In cases where a couple is unable to reach an amicable agreement, starting a divorce action will bring the case to a judge who may ultimately preside over a trial and decide the outcome of the settlement.

Other reasons to file a Divorce Action can have to do with the financial situationof the couple. The date on which the complaint is filed (the “commencement date”) typically:

  • Establishes the earliest date from which a future order of support may be made retroactive
  • Is the end date that marital property will be valued at
  • Neither spouse can alter the economic status quo of the marriage-in other words, wastefully dissipate assets or increase marital debt

In cases where one spouse refuses to take the necessary actionto move the divorce forward, disclosing documents, for example, filing a divorce action forces the individual to comply.

To understand the best course to take for you, do some research about the laws in your state and visit a local Matrimonial Attorney.