Introduction to the Divorce Process

Introduction to the Divorce Process

LegalZoom's education center provides you with the resources you need to consider a divorce. You'll find general divorce information in our Education Center, and our FAQs answer common divorce questions. Access to the Glossary and Useful Resources gives you a variety of tools to make powerful, informed decisions.

If you and your spouse can agree on the terms of your divorce, instead of having a judge decide them for you in court, the divorce process can be simpler and much less expensive. Studies have shown spouses who actively participate in settling a divorce are most likely to avoid post-divorce conflict and cooperate in parenting.

With LegalZoom's legal documentation service, you can perform uncontested divorces without an attorney. Answer our online questionnaire, and we'll complete your divorce documents and a marital settlement agreement.

  • Introduction to the Divorce Process
    LegalZoom's education center provides you with the resources you need to consider a divorce. You'll find general divorce information in our Education Center, and our FAQs answer common divorce questions. Access to the Glossary and Useful Resources gives you a variety of tools to make...
    read more
  • Uncontested vs. Contested Divorces
    At the heart of every divorce are four issues: 1. Division of community and/or marital property2. Division of debt3. Custody of any children4. Payment of child and/or spousal support
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  • Legal Requirements for Divorce
    Under most state laws, a divorce (or "dissolution") action must be filed and decided in court. All states have a "no-fault divorce" policy. In other words, the courts are not concerned with which spouse was guilty of marital misconduct. The following legal requirements are necessary to...
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  • The Divorce Process
    A divorce starts with a divorce petition. The petition is written by one spouse (the petitioner) and served on the other spouse. The petition is then filed in a state court in the county where one of the spouses resides. It does not matter where the marriage occurred. The petition includes...
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  • Custody of Minor Children in a Divorce
    Both parents must decide on the custody of minor children under the age of 18. Divorce courts are concerned about the well-being of any children born naturally or adopted by the parents. There are four basic types of child custody recognized under state laws:
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  • Child Support in a Divorce
    Child support is mandatory in any divorce involving minor children. Petitioners with minor children must include an order for child support, even if the other parent is unemployed or cannot be found. Most state laws have guidelines to determine child support payments. The payment amount...
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