Organization and deadlines are two important key things to consider when self-representing yourself in court against your wife for divorce. If you are not organized and do not pay close attention to deadlines, you will struggle through your divorce case without an attorney. However, a little understanding of the beginning processes of divorce court will help you be better prepared for what is going to come in the near future in the courtroom.
First, you need to file the paper through the courts and pay any filing fees that are required. You will file your initial petition or complaint for the dissolution of marriage (or legal separation or annulment, if that is what you intend) and will pay a fee to file these. You may also have to file a motion for trial setting, which will get you a court date, but this varies from state to state. You can also file an affidavit of indigence if you are unable to pay the filing fees, but this must be approved by a judge.
Next, file any temporary orders or motions that need to done as soon as possible. This is to keep your wife from doing it first and putting you on the defense instead of the offense in the courtroom. It will be to your advantage to file the paperwork yourself, along with the petition for divorce, than to leave time open for your wife to do it first.
Finally, make sure that you properly serve your wife the papers. Sometimes, your wife's attorney will accept service of legal documentation, but it's always best to server her directly. This can be arranged through a county sheriff, or can sometimes be done by mail with a signature return service that proves that the paperwork was properly served to the defendant.
By knowing the process of a divorce filing and by meeting all the required deadlines, you can easily start your divorce case against your wife without the help of a lawyer—it just requires motivation, organization, and the ability to learn the court systems and how they work.
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