Starting your case…

Starting your case…

step 1

Starting your case:  Attorney/Filing the Petition/Service

The first step in a divorce case is to retain an attorney whose practice is focused on divorce and family law matters.  During your initial consultation, The Gregg Law Firm will gather information from you in order to start drafting the petition to be filed in court.


Filing the Petition

The Gregg Law Firm will tell the court in writing what the case is about, who the case is against, and what outcome (known as relief) is wanted. For example, a person seeking a divorce would explain in writing what the case is about (a dissolution of marriage) and the “relief” wanted, which may include a divorce along with the division of property, child custody, and child support. The original writing in a case is called the “petition.” The petition must be complete and include certain information required by law. After the petition is filed either petitioner or respondent may file motions to request action by the court about a variety of matters. The petition is filed with the county or district clerk’s office in the county in which you file.  You must pay for the applicable filing fees required by that particular county. There are laws that determine where a case may be filed. A family law case is usually filed in the county in which the petitioner or children reside. There might be other forms that may be filed along with the petition so the court has enough information about you to review the circumstances of your case before a hearing.

Service to opposing party

How is the other person notified a case has been filed? When the petition is filed with the court, an official notice called a “citation” is issued to be delivered to the respondent. This is called service of process. Service is very important and must be done correctly. Doing it incorrectly will cause not only delay of your case, but MAY cause your case to be dismissed. Service is proper when the respondent receives a copy of the petition and the citation. Examples of service includes:  Waiver of Service, Personal Service, Private Process Service, Service by Publication.