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Filing for Divorce

Rice Divorce Team Offers Counsel in Memphis & Beyond

There are tactical advantages for the person who files first. The legal document that starts the proceeding is the Petition for Divorce, or the Complaint. It also covers certain technical matters and asks the court for anything you might want.

If you and your spouse cannot agree on something (e.g. support, visitation, property division, attorney’s fees, court costs, maiden name restored), then you must ask the court for it in the petition or the court cannot give it to you. If the list seems long or includes more than you think is appropriate, try to think of it as a wish list. If the wording seems strange, remember that it is a formal legal document and much of the wording is required by law. If your spouse has already filed, be sure that your lawyer has a copy of the petition as soon as possible.

The person who files first is the plaintiff or petitioner. The other person is the defendant or respondent, and that person must respond to your petition in a formal document known as an answer. The defendant may also want to complain that the plaintiff was at fault. To do so, the defendant files a Countercomplaint.

If possible, talk to your spouse about divorce before you file. It is hard to keep open lines of communication if your spouse has been surprised by the sheriff serving divorce papers on him or her at 4:00 A.M. (which is when the sheriff often serves papers).

If you are considering filing for divorce, speak with a Memphis family lawyer at Rice Divorce Team. Contact us at (901) 425-1274 today.

Reviews from People Who Have Been There

  • He helped me navigate through a difficult divorce with crazy paperwork and a harsh judge.

    “Larry Rice literally rescued me at the courthouse one day.”

    Dawn H.

  • Very professional and puts his clients interest first

    “A pleasure to deal with. I would not want him to be going against him in any legal matter... ”

    Ronnie

  • Larry Rice and his able team took that low point of my life and transformed it into a turning point, for me and my children.

    “Larry and his entire staff were always attentive to my needs, always put my best interests first, and most of all, fought diligently for me.”

    Scott

  • Mr. Rice is my David to the Goliath of our divorce litigation. He is a man of courage, honor, and integrity.

    “Mr. Rice is an attorney of honor and integrity.”

    Joan

  • Nick was always quick to return emails and phone calls, and he always explained everything so that I always knew exactly what was going on and what options we had.

    “When we went to court, Nick and his staff were beyond amazing in how well they were prepared. Nick did an outstanding job in the courtroom, and he gave me peace of mind throughout the entire process.”

    Beth