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Apr 24, 2024, 11:39:11 AM

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My spouse filed for divorce. What happens if I don't sign the papers?

My spouse filed for divorce. What happens if I don't sign the papers?

By not signing the paperwork you may be able to delay the process for a while, but ultimately, the judge will sign the papers and your spouse will be granted the divorce by default.


What do I need when I see the attorney? What should I bring?

What do I need when I see the attorney? What should I bring?

When going to see your attorney for the first time you'll want to bring certain documents and records with you. Have the following items with you:
  • A copy of your marriage license
  • A copy of your most recent paystub
  • Federal and State tax returns for the last five years
  • Business records and financial statements
  • Loan applications
  • Documents describing any other income and assets
  • Bank records for the last year
  • Any additional documents you feel are relevant to your current situation
Your attorney may not need all of these, or he/she may require additional documents, but the papers on this list will be a good start.


We've lived apart for over a year, does this mean we're legally separated?

We've lived apart for over a year, does this mean we're legally separated?

Probably not. In most States, legal separation does not occur until there is a written separation agreement or a court ordered separation.


What is a 'legal separation'? What does a Separation Agreement do?

What is a 'legal separation'? What does a Separation Agreement do?

A Separation Agreement is a legally binding agreement between you and your spouse that covers the period of time from when you separate until the time that the divorce is made final. It is a document that outlines the terms of the couple's separation, and generally resolves all issues relating to child custody, child support, division of property, and alimony. To be valid, a separation agreement must be in writing, signed by both parties, and notarized.

A legal separation is normally the first step in a divorce. In most, if not all States, you must be legally separated for some period of time (90 days is typical) before your divorce can be made final.

At the time of legal separation, debts and property are usually 'frozen' and made separate for each party. During a legal separation, if your ex goes out and runs up huge credit card bills (for example), you aren't responsible for them in the eyes of the court. (You may still be responsible for them in the eyes of the creditors, however.) You are also generally prohibited from disposing of (or converting) marital assets during this time.


My spouse had an affair. Can I use this against him/her?

My spouse had an affair. Can I use this against him/her?

Probably not, unless you can show that it endangered your children in some way. Under 'No-Fault' divorce laws, extra-marital affairs are no longer relevent, for the most part.


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