Steps of Divorce with Darcy McAlister
Traditionally, there are three papers that get filed: a summons, a complaint, and automatic orders (requires that finances and child care remain status quo). These papers define the scope of issues for courts but do not limit you to the process you choose (litigation, mediation, collaboration).
It’s best to start this off on the right foot and NOT serve your spouse in an embarrassing way, but instead treat each other with respect and make this a coordinated effort. If you start in a contentious matter, it’s hard to get things back to a positive path.
You can file yourself, without a lawyer. If it’s amicable, the parties can acknowledge that they have received the papers and not deal with the courts. You’ll still have to file the three documents and appear in court for the judge to deem the agreement fair in most cases. But you can negotiate the divorce agreement and parenting plan on your own. This could speed things up and keep it private (great consideration for the kids).
From a timing standpoint, you could be divorced in as few as 10 days if you have the agreement negotiated. No need to fly to the islands for a quickie divorce!