There are several points that have to be determined before a divorce can be finalized. While some of these might be present in your case, others might not. In most of these cases, you and your ex can work together to negotiate the terms of each area.
The primary exception to this is child support. If you have children, the support payments are determined by a formula predetermined by the state. Other areas you might have to consider include:
- Alimony: Spousal support payments can be negotiated during the divorce. Remember that these aren't automatic, so they won't apply to all cases. If you are able to work something out, you need to set the terms as clearly as possible.
- Child custody: If you have children together, you have to come to terms for them. This should include things like a parenting time schedule, decision-making powers and any other terms that you and your ex agree on. Include as much information as you can in the parenting agreement so there aren't conflicts about them later.
- Property division: All of the assets that you and your ex have amassed have to be split. This can be a challenging process, but remember to think about how various arrangements will impact your future. You also have to split up marital debts during this part of the process. If you have a prenuptial agreement, you will likely have the terms for property division listed there.
As you go through the process, remember that the goal is to end the marriage. The longer this process takes, the longer it will be before you are divorced.