Attorney Maguire can assist you with your divorce in the role of an attorney or that of a mediator. Each case is different and that's why there are options when it comes to how to file for divorce.
As an attorney, Attorney Maguire can assist on a limited basis helping to complete and file paperwork, attending a specific hearing, or reviewing a separation agreement completed by another mediator or attorney. We will work together to strategize and determine the approach to the divorce that is best for the needs of you and your family.
Available Options When Filing For Divorce
Either person can file a complaint for divorce, with or without an attorney. This lets the court know that one person wants to be divorced, but there may or may not be issues to argue about. Whoever files pays the fee of $220, which includes a summons. Then it is about $55 additional dollars to have the summons served to the other party so it puts the court on notice that everyone knows there is a court action and they can schedule it.
This helps get things moving if one person is stalling. You can always change to mediation or reach an agreement before you even step foot in court, but it provides back up if one person drags their feet. Then if there is no agreement by the time your court date comes up, you have an opportunity to let the judge know what is going out, rather than find out you don't agree then ask for a court date. It would be months before one is scheduled.
Both people can file a joint petition for divorce together, with or without lawyers and with or without having a full agreement already. This would require you to file together, often sharing the filing fee of $215 together (no summons is necessary).
You would be letting the court know that you both agree to get divorced and that you will be filing an agreement shortly.
Mediation is voluntary, so for it to work, both parties have to want to meet to attempt to resolve everything. You don't necessarily need to reach a full agreement and you can each hire an attorney at any time during the process for the remainder of the mediation process or even for just one session. Usually, mediations are done in 2-hour sessions, about 2-3 weeks apart. After each session, I prepare a summary of what is resolved and what remains unresolved, as well as homework for each of us to work on prior to the next session. If there is a full resolution, I would prepare all the required documents, including financial statements and a joint petition for divorce (if not already filed) and any motions that may be needed.
It is hard to say which method works best, as it depends on the circumstances of each case and each of the parties. Similarly, it is difficult to determine which method of divorce is the cheapest. In one instance you could start mediation, only to find you are far apart on many issues and need to obtain lawyers to file and be heard in court.
LAW & MEDIATION
We know divorce can be overwhelming and difficult. Our goal at Maguire Law & Mediation is to make this process as easy as possible. Please give us a call or fill out the form below to schedule a meeting.