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A spouse will often threaten separation and divorce. However, it’s important to know whether they have actually gone through with it or not. When you’re wondering if your spouse has actually filed, there are a few ways to figure things out. By knowing, you can be sure to make the necessary arrangements on your end.
Ask Your Spouse
One of the simplest ways to find out is to ask. Find out if any legal documents have been filed. This will help you to open up the lines of communication with your spouse.
Particularly if you haven’t received a certified copy of the divorce paperwork via a personal delivery (otherwise known as being served), you should know when to expect them.
If it’s been a while, you may also want to ask your spouse for a copy as he may have them.
Contact an Attorney
If you know that a divorce is inevitable, it might be time to contact a divorce lawyer. This will help you to explore your rights and learn what the various steps are for you to take. An attorney will receive a notice of the filed separation or divorce if your spouse knows who your attorney is.
Otherwise, your attorney will know how to search the court records to find out if anything has already been filed.
Additionally, an attorney will be able to answer questions you have pertaining to state law. For example, some states require a legal separation before a divorce can be granted. Other states don’t require a minimum separation period, in which case a divorce would be filed with the county as opposed to a simple separation request.
Contact the Court Clerk
You might not have an attorney yet and that is understandable. If you want to know if your husband has already filed for separation, you can reach out to the county court. Be sure to go to the court in the county that you live in as that will be the county that the separation will be filed in.
A county clerk will often have a searchable database where they can look to see if there has been any legal documents filed as of yet. The litigant’s name will be used in the search. When you’re able to provide proof that you’re on the documents, usually in the form of state-issued ID, you will be granted access to the documents. You may also be able to learn when you should receive the documents so that you can read through everything.
Particularly when it comes to a separation or a divorce, you want to make sure you have legal counsel. This will help you to read through the documents and learn more about what is going on.
If separation documents have not yet been filed, you may be able to file them on your own. This would allow you to be the one identified as the person seeking the divorce instead of the other way around. However, if the documents have been filed by your spouse, you can then prepare for the proceedings.
You will need to decide whether you are going to contest the divorce or not. A contested divorce will generally take longer and be more expensive. An uncontested divorce means that you agree to the separation and will go along with the proceedings.
With the help of an attorney, you can ensure that the necessary paperwork is filed. You and your soon-to-be ex-spouse will need to establish a division of property, including debt, savings, and household belongings. If there are children from the marriage, you will also want to explore a parenting plan to determine custody and time sharing.
An attorney will also help you to calculate alimony and child support payments, if applicable.
By knowing whether a separation has been filed already or not, you can begin getting all of these supplementary documents ready. It’s better to be in the know about being served with a divorce so that your affairs are in order. Otherwise, it can come as a complete shock and leave you more vulnerable.
The moment you think that your spouse is going to file for separation, you should seek your own legal counsel. An attorney can only represent one party in a divorce. Your husband will have his own attorney and you will need your own. From there, you can figure out if documents have been filed and learn more about what you can do to protect your belongings as well as plan effectively for your future.
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