A divorce petition is a document you file with the court at the start of divorce proceedings, and this document serves several key purposes. If you are preparing for a divorce and would like to know more about this petition, here are four of the key purposes it serves.
To initiate the divorce process
The primary purpose of a divorce petition is to begin the proceedings for a divorce. You cannot begin a divorce without filing this petition. This petition starts off your divorce, but it is important to know that this petition does not obligate you to go through with the divorce. If you end up changing your mind later on and decide you no longer want a divorce, you can simply stop the divorce proceedings and will not be obligated to go through with it.
To begin the separation period
Secondly, the divorce petition begins the period of separation, and this is especially important in states that have a cooling down period. A cooling down period is something that is mandatory in most states, and it is just a time period in which a couple must wait before they can finalize their divorce. Some states have a period of cooling off that is just a few months long, while other states have a longer required time period for this. The petition filed for your divorce begins this cooling-off period.
To enforce rules for the spouses to follow
Another key purpose of a divorce petition is to enforce rules for the spouses to follow during the period of separation. A common rule is that spouses cannot rack up new debt. Another common rule is that spouses cannot leave the state with their kids. There are a variety of rules that accompany a divorce petition, and your lawyer can help you understand these.
To allow the couple to create a temporary order
The other purpose of a divorce petition is to give the couple an opportunity to create a temporary order to follow during the time period where they are separated but not yet divorced. This temporary order tells the spouses where the kids will live, who will pay support for them, who will live in the house, who will pay the bills, and many other details and rules they must follow at this time.
Now that you understand more about what a divorce petition is for, you should speak with a lawyer to get your divorce process started.
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