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For a divorce, do you have to go to court?

When you think about getting divorced, you likely imagine going in front of a judge and having them tell you how you need to divide your assets or split up your time with the kids. And, for many couples, this is exactly how it works. But does it have to be this way?

It certainly does not. You can get out of court appearances if you and your spouse work together to hash out your divorce agreement on your own or with a mediator. As long as it is reasonable, the court is probably going to allow it.

As you can see, this doesn't mean the court isn't involved. You still have to submit the agreement so that they can review the terms and grant or deny the divorce on those grounds. But, if you and your ex make a reasonable effort to create a fair plan that follows state laws, odds are the court will give you what you're asking for.

This isn't something all couples can do. In some cases, the two people are so at odds with one another over the end of the relationship that they cannot work together. In other cases, they just do not agree on major issues -- like where the children will live -- and so it's necessary for a judge to make a ruling. But, for those who can work together, court may not be mandatory and the whole process could be a lot faster.

Be sure you know all of your options and the steps you'll need to take if you are considering divorce.

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