If you are considering a divorce, things could happen in one of two ways. If possible, it is usually preferable if you and your spouse can come to agreements on things like property division and child care arrangements outside of court with the assistance of a mediator or an attorney. In the event that you absolutely cannot reach an agreement, however, you may have to present your case before a judge in court.
Divorce litigation can be demanding on your time and effort, and it is important to work closely with a qualified divorce lawyer who can help guide you through your case. While laws differ from state to state, there are a few basic steps that will be taken:
- File your case with the court. In filing your case, you are formally asking the court to dissolve your marriage and asking for any kind of relief you seek, including dissipation of assets, spousal support, child custody, and more. You will then receive documents indicating your initial court date and setting forth deadlines, required documents, and other expectations of the court.
- Conduct discovery. The facts of the case will be laid out under oath, and may require you to submit any documentation to support your statements. Subpoenas may be issued to friends, family, coworkers, and any others who may be able to answer questions. Your final trial date will be set, which can often be several months in the future, depending on which court your case is in.
- Hire experts. You and your spouse can testify to the facts of your case, but only experts can give opinions. You may have to hire experts to determine things like the value of your home or other assets, which parent your children might be better off living with, the state of a spouse’s mental health, and other matters.
- Attend to pre-trial matters. Certain preparations are made for the final trial, including identifying which issues are still being decided, determining and disclosing what evidence will or will not be admitted, and more.
- Prepare testimony. Witnesses will need to be made aware of what they will be asked and how to comport themselves in court, including how they should dress, what they should and should not say, etc. This is also the time to compile and organize all documentation related to the case so that it can easily be referenced during the trial as exhibits.
Your trial may last one or two days, or possibly longer. You and your attorney will work together throughout the process discussing evidence and preparing rebuttals until a ruling is made. After the ruling, the attorney will then write up one or more court orders that designate how property is to be divided, how spousal or child support is to be paid, and more. Once the judge signs the order, you must begin actively following its terms.
As you can probably tell, divorce can be a lengthy and complicated process, and there are many details that must be taken into consideration. If you are considering a divorce, contact a Denver family law attorney from Plog & Stein, P.C. who can help make sure that your divorce proceedings go as smoothly as possible. Contact us today at (303) 781-0322 to schedule a case evaluation.