Some of our readers in Kentucky and West Virginia may be going through tough times in their marriages and are thinking about the pros and cons of filing for divorce. However, most people who find themselves in this type of situation have quite a few questions. For starters, what are the steps in a divorce case?

Well, obviously the first step – and the biggest step – is actually making the decision to go through with a divorce. This major decision is life-changing. However, in many cases, getting a divorce is better than staying in a relationship that is simply not as rewarding as it used to be or, at its worst, might be abusive or neglectful. To initiate a divorce case, the proper documents must be filed in a divorce court and served – verifiably delivered – to your soon-to-be ex-spouse.

After the case is initiated, your spouse will have an opportunity to file a response. From there, the case can go in any number of directions, depending on how the spouses want to proceed. In highly contentious divorce cases, there may be a formal exchange of information – called discovery – so that each side can formulate a case to present at trial. However, in other cases, the divorcing spouses decide that direct negotiations or even mediation is a better option to address the myriad issues in the divorce case.

In whatever manner the spouses decide to proceed, the divorce case will not be finalized until there is a court order. After that, the spouses are officially divorced and are free to live their newly single lives.