There are a lot of questions about what to expect when getting a civil divorce, and I’m sure that the majority of people who get a divorce want the same thing (and a simple, fast, and easy divorce). People wonder if there’s a difference between getting a civil divorce and getting a regular divorce, what types of documents to fill out, and what happens next. A civil divorce is just like a regular divorce in the fact that they take you to court. You can be sure that there are some very basic differences in the steps to a civil divorce vs. annulment, however.
What is a Civil Divorce?
The first difference between the two is in the name. A civil divorce is a civil law divorce, so it follows civil law rules. A civil law divorce is a simple, lawful, and complete divorce from one party to another in which the court rules on the legal issues. In other words, civil law allows for a divorce to end simply, while annulment is a little more complicated, as it means that a marriage is officially ended and cannot be restored.
Once you’ve decided that you want to get a civil divorce, you’ll need to begin collecting the necessary paperwork. First, you’ll have to choose the state in which you live. Then, you’ll need to choose the names of the parties involved in the divorce. (Social Security will not grant marriage licenses in many states unless the person is under a specific age, which varies by state.) Finally, you’ll have to gather the papers needed to sign the divorce papers.
At this point, you might wonder why you’d even have to gather these papers since a civil divorce requires no papers. But civil divorces are not simple affairs. The papers are only half of the battle; the other half is the whole ordeal of going through them and getting everything legalized. When you choose your state, you might also want to check if you have to pay something to be able to file there. A few states offer “no-cost” divorces, but they’re not real divorces at all. They’re just ways for people in similar situations to file.
After you’ve got everything organized, you’ll have to go through the divorce papers and fill out whatever forms are required for the divorce. You should also keep a record of every meeting or telephone conversation you have during the litigation. This will be crucial later. You should get copies of all financial assets, debts, custody, and joint tax returns for both you and your spouse, and any other papers that your state requires. Make sure to keep track of all correspondence, and keep back up copies of anything you send to the court.
After you’re done filling out your papers, you’ll probably have to appear in court and give a deposition. This is where you’ll have to prove your side of the civil divorce, which can be embarrassing to do if you don’t know what you’re talking about. You’ll also have to explain your reasons for filing the divorce and prove that no civilized divorce proceeding could be conducted between you and your spouse. You’ll be asked questions, and your attorney will try to find any discrepancies that you have ignored. If you can’t prove anything, the case will be dismissed. If, however, you can prove you were trying to reconcile, then the court may decide in your favour.
You should remember that a civil divorce is separate and distinct from a regular proceeding. This means that you shouldn’t disclose any details about the divorce or your personal information to anyone, including your lawyer. Keep in mind that divorce records are open to the public, so your lawyer can look them up if he wants. But you shouldn’t discuss your situation with anyone before you’re sure you want to proceed. If you think you might want to contact a lawyer while the divorce is pending, don’t do it until you’re sure you want to go forward with the divorce.
In some instances, couples may choose to file a simple civil divorce and resolve their differences without a lawyer. If this option seems right for you and your spouse, it’s wise to talk everything through thoroughly with your lawyer. You may decide that you don’t need a lawyer and that the process will be simpler than many people think. It’s always best to be safe than sorry, and hiring a lawyer can only help make things easier for you and your spouse. But if you choose not to hire an attorney, your divorce proceedings will still be confidential, as they will be filed in your state, and will remain secret unless you share them with your lawyer.