Quick Look: The Divorce Process for Couples Without Kids
Divorce is never an easy undertaking. With an estimated 50% of marriages ending in divorce, many couples go into it with years worth of resentment, pain and experiences that have left them emotionally compromised. While the process of divorce isn't easily navigated, your divorce attorney will have answers to your legal questions about divorce.
If you find yourself in the beginning stages of seeking a divorce, education is key. Knowing what to expect and who to expect it from is imperative to making the divorce process as harmless as possible. In most jurisdictions, a divorce that includes no kids or assets to divide varies from a divorce with kids involved on a few key points. While this process may vary depending on the state or county, a simplified divorce process is available to many.
(If you're unsure if your state allows simplified marriages, contact divorce lawyers in your area to ask.)
Divorce Petition: The first step of a simplified divorce is to file a joint petition. This means the couple will both prepare and sign a document agreeing to the dissolution of their marriage. Most joint petitions are only available for marriages lasting a shorter duration and may require the couple to waive alimony claims and rights to a trial. The petition outlines that there are no children or significant assets/debts involved in the divorce.
Additional Paperwork: Again, the simplified divorce process varies by jurisdiction so some couples may have to submit additional paperwork after filing a joint petition. These documents may outline the finances of the couple as well as a waiver of service.
Settlement Agreement: To reach an agreement on the settlement, many courts will ask couples to prepare separate agreements that will outline the standards of the divorce. This includes how they will divide marital property and dissolve any joint debts.
Putting the logistics of divorce aside, it's important to keep in mind that while the process itself may be simplified, the divorce itself is not made easier without kids. This is a sensitive subject among many couples and should be avoided by friends and family of those getting divorced. The average first divorce happens around age 30 and follows a 9-year marriage, meaning a couple has spent nearly a decade building a life together. Whether you're getting the divorce or know someone who is, keep in mind that divorce is an emotionally difficult part of life and shouldn't be minimized due to a lack of children.