Divorce & Separation

Guiding you through the process of legally ending your relationship

How to Legally End Your Relationship as a Couple

Deciding to legally end a relationship either by divorce or legal separation is never an easy process. It is a difficult, emotionally fraught time when good counsel is needed. At Peace Talks, we can help you through this process with mediation. First, it is important to understand how the legal process works.

What is a Judgment & Why Do You Need One?

In order to legally end your relationship as a couple through either a divorce or a legal separation, you must have a Judgment. A Judgment is a legal document declaring that your marriage is dissolved. Typically, dissolving your marriage includes dividing your assets and debts, allocating your income, and deciding on parenting responsibilities. For unmarried parents, a Judgment defines your parental relationship and establishes financial obligations and parenting responsibilities. 

How Do You Obtain a Judgment?

There are 2 ways to get a divorce. In less than 5% of divorce or separation cases, your Judgment is obtained after a trial where the judge applies legal principles to your situation. In all other cases, you and your spouse negotiate the Judgment without a trial. Sometimes couples first go to court where the judge makes some decisions, and later they settle other issues without the judge.

What Are the Requirements for a Judgment?

There are three requirements to obtain a Judgment:

  1. File and serve a Petition and Summons
  2. Complete and serve a Declaration of Disclosure
  3. Obtain a judgment

What are the 4 Phases of the Divorce Process?

The process of obtaining a judgment is the beginning of the divorce process. At Peace Talks, we think of the divorce process as 4 phases (which we will explain in more detail):


  1. File and Serve a Petition and Summons
  2. Information Gathering - Gather and share information through Disclosure or Discovery 
  3. Stipulated Judgment - Make agreements
  4. After the Divorce - How to make changes to set agreements

Visit each Phase below

  • Engage professionals 
  • File and Serve a Petition and Summons
  • Gather and share financial information
  • Prepare your parenting plan
  • Review and approve decisions
  • Sign final documents
  • The rest of your life making changes to your agreement

"Thank you both! You've made a tough process very digestible.  We appreciate your help through it."

- A & J