What Happens if We Go to Divorce Court?

Every divorce is different, and there are numerous ways to handle each unique case. Sometimes, spouses are able to negotiate and resolve their divorce through mediation or a no-fault arrangement with an amicable end. However, other times, reaching an agreement may be more difficult. If two spouses can’t collaborate and come to an agreement, it may be necessary to go to divorce court.

Preparing for Court

In order to dissolve your marriage through the courts, you must first file your case. These filing documents outline what you are trying to gain in court such as marital assets and debt or requests for child or spousal support. Parties will be served paperwork from the court containing a deadline to respond to the complaint.

Once the court dates are set, each side undergoes the discovery process to identify assets, liabilities, and the essential facts of the case. Even though a divorce court date is usually set around six months in advance, each client and their attorney have lots to do in preparation. An experienced divorce lawyer could help a spouse prepare for court by gathering important documents, contacting witnesses, and hiring professionals to properly value assets. Some divorce proceedings may include pre-trial conferences or hearings to try and settle some of the details before the actual court date in hopes of a settlement. Witnesses and evidence must be prepared, organized, and submitted to the court before the trial day.

Your Day in Court

Make sure that both you and your witnesses are aware of courthouse rules, security requirements, and the location of the courtroom where your trial will take place. It’s essential to come prepared and on time. Your attorney could walk you through all these steps to ensure that nothing on the day of the hearing will come as a surprise.

Divorce trials usually begin with each side making an opening statement, starting with the petitioning party. After your witnesses are sworn in, they are able to proceed with their testimony. These people may be cross-examined, and rebuttal testimony can be used to respond to witness statements or their cross-examination. After each side has exhausted testimony, rebuttal, and cross-examination, closing statements may be given.

Divorce Ruling and Order

A divorce trial may take place over the course of a few hours or a few days, depending on the complexity of the arguments presented. Once the proceedings are concluded, the judge may present an oral or written ruling. The role of divorce attorneys is then to assist their side in responding to the ruling with either a final decree of divorce or in providing specific objections to appeal the ruling. If major disagreements persist, the case may go back to court to be argued further.

Once both sides have agreed to and signed divorce orders, the divorce would, at last, be complete. With the framework created by the divorce order, your divorce lawyer could help you carry out the rulings by drafting newly written paperwork such as inheritance documents, child custody agreements, and title deeds for the division of property.

Having an experienced, trustworthy divorce lawyer by your side could make the process of going to divorce court less daunting and more manageable. It is important to consult a skilled New Jersey divorce lawyer who is familiar with local family law and will strive to help you get the best outcome out of your divorce. Contact us at Moskowitz Law to schedule your free case evaluation with our team of compassionate divorce attorneys.

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