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

  • I appreciated he and his staff keeping me informed during the entire process.

    “Nick was very helpful during a very difficult time in my life. ”

    Adrienne

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    Nancy

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  • Mr. Rice is a very professional and employs a highly trained team of assistants who both assist him and keep the paperwork flowing to a quick conclusion of my case.

    “ Easy to contact if I/you have a question and is very knowledgeable as to how the case will proceed through the courts.”

    Larry

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