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    Last month we started a series on divorce definitions, in that spirit, we want to talk some about the basics of a separation/divorce process and some of the misrepresentations we hear.
    “Filing” of a divorce refers to filing (or providing) the Complaint to the court clerk’s office to initiate the divorce process.  Filing occurs if an agreement cannot be reached or if an agreement has been reached, it is filed after the statutory time period (6 months from the date of separation if no children and one year from the date of separation if there is children). Settlement proposals are not filed with the court.
    “Serving” the other spouse refers to the procedure after a divorce is filed when the non-filing spouse receives a copy of the Complaint and in most cases are done by either  a private process service or the sheriff’s office.  Settlement proposals are normally not served. 
    Negotiations are a wonderful approach to seek a resolution; it is a voluntary process that requires participation from both sides.  The court system cannot force an agreement to be signed, and as a rule is not privy to the terms of the settlement discussions between the parties.

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