The divorce process starts with the filing of a Petition for Divorce.  The purpose of the petition is to notice the state and the other party that one of the parties is requesting that the court order the termination of the marriage relationship.  The Petition is a very simple document and concise document.  It’s not unusual for people to think there’s something wrong with the petition because there is so little information in the document.   The filing of the petition starts the running of the sixty (60) day waiting period.

    Just as with any other law suit, the Petition must either be served on the opposing party, or that party must waive service.  If once service is not waived, it will usually be personally delivered by a process server, or a constable.  Attached to the Petition is a Citation that is attached by the District Clerk, which informs the opposing party that they have been sued, and they must file an answer before the Monday following the expiration of twenty (20) days.  If no answer is filed, the prayer (or requests) of the petitioning party will be granted by the court, and the court will issue an order giving the petitioner whatever it is they ask.

    In situations where the parties find they cannot agree on something that cannot wait until the end of the divorce to be decided (e.g. who stays in the house, where the kids are going to live, who pays what bills), the court can be called upon to make Temporary Orders based on evidence presented at a Hearing on Temporary Orders.

    If the parties need to “discover” evidence they can conduct “discovery” during the pendency of the case.  Examples of discovery are Depositions, Interrogatories, Request for Production of Documents and Request for Admissions.  Conducting discovery can add considerable cost to a divorce case, but in a contested case, is often necessary.