Practicing divorce law involves not just knowledge of the law, but also psychology. As a divorce attorney, you are working with people at one of the most stressful times of their life. Divorce is deemed to be second to the death of a loved one in its level of emotional stress and anxiety on a person. I take a gentle and understanding approach to working with clients who are going through a divorce. I understand the emotional and psychological trauma that they are experiencing. One thing that I’ve always found interesting about divorce is as hard of a process as it is, once somebody goes through the legal process of getting a divorce, they feel much better and they experience a lot of relief.
There are two ways to get a divorce. One way is called a contested divorce and another way is called an uncontested divorce. With a contested divorce, you file something called a complaint for divorce. You file this paperwork with the court, and the court will send the attorney something called a summons. The summons is what gets served on the person whom you are divorcing. This is the process you often see on TV – people getting served with divorce papers. Once that person receives those divorce papers and they read them, they will notice that it says they have 20 days to respond to the Complaint for Divorce.
So what is there to respond to? In the complaint for divorce, the person who is filing the complaint is making certain requests. For example, they are asking for custody of the children, child support for the children, and an equitable division of the marital assets. When the person who receives the Complaint for Divorce makes their answer, they too get an opportunity ask for what they want. Often they will not only do an answer, but also something called a counterclaim, which denies what the Plaintiff is requesting for.
The person filing the Complaint for Divorce is the Plaintiff, and the person who receives the Complaint for Divorce is the Defendant.
Sometimes you have people who have cooperated and come to a joint decision to get a divorce. Together, they can file something called a Joint Petition for Divorce. This is an uncontested divorce.
If someone files a Joint Petition for Divorce, they may want to hire a Mediator. A mediator will facilitate a conversation between the parties. The goal is to come to an agreement on their own without needing a judge to make certain decisions about custody and how assets will be shared.
I offer free consultations to help you determine if a contested or uncontested divorce is right for you. To book your free 30 minute consult, you can reach me at 617-875-2842 or [email protected].