Divorce can be an emotionally trying and draining experience. Our firm serves as your advisor, attorney and trusted counselor throughout this process.
Each case starts with a Complaint for Divorce. Once this occurs, your spouse is served and they have 21 days to file an answer with the court. If they do not, our firm will file the appropriate papers to pursue a “default” against them.
If you do not have children under 18, a divorce can be entered as soon as 60 days after filing. If there are children, 180 days must pass. Only upon a showing of unusual hardship or compelling necessity can a court reduce this “statutory” waiting period – and only then if both parties agree on everything to resolve the case.
Judges handle default cases and the statutory waiting period differently. Once we know the judge assigned to your case, we can advise you on this as it applies to your situation.
In most cases, the other party does file an answer and usually there are disagreements on major issues (i.e. custody, parenting time, child support, alimony, etc.) that require time to resolve. Again, each judge handles these issues differently. It is important that you know which judge is assigned to your case. Whatever your situation, our firm takes pride in having appeared many times before all of our judges and can properly advise you as to what to expect in your case.
Once your statutory waiting period has lapsed, the Court will have the parties and your attorneys to court for a settlement conference. A settlement conference is exactly how it sounds: an attempt to settle the case. About half of our cases resolve at or before settlement conference and the client can move forward with their life.
If the case does not settle– it will be left on for trial. Trial dates are usually four to six weeks after settlement conference. During that time much work will be done in an attempt to resolve your matter to your liking. Usually, at settlement conference, the judge will have given input as to how your case should settle. This may involve attending mandatory mediation, the court appointing a Guardian ad Litem to look into special issues related to children or appointing an appraiser to provide expert opinions on the value of property.
90-95% of all cases settle on or before the time of trial. A respected strength of our firm is strategically positioning clients to maximize financial benefit and time with their children without having to endure the expense of a trial. However, sometimes trials are needed.
When trials have to happen, our firm has litigated many contested trials before all of our judges. We will help you through the trial prep process, witness list development, compiling relevant exhibits and present the court with the relevant law to help clients achieve their desired outcomes.
Our firm comes with a long track record of unparalleled success. Whether your case is simple and only has paperwork to be drafted, or more complex and requires consultation with financial experts, Child Protective Services representatives and aggressive courtroom advocacy, feel confident you are in good hands with our firm.