Some divorces sail through divorce court with few if any problems. Everyone agrees on everything. For many people, though, that speedy divorce just doesn’t happen. The separating spouses just can’t agree on a settlement, even after several negotiation sessions and mediation. At that point, the case may be headed to trial. That’s what may happen during divorce litigation when spouses can’t settle their differences any other way.
Starting the Process
In California, a marriage may end in annulment, legal separation, or divorce. One person in the marriage or domestic partnership will file documents with the court clerk to get the divorce started, then file them on the other party. Both parties then file a Schedule of Assets & Debts, Income and Expense Declaration, and Declaration Regarding Service of Declaration of Disclosure.
If temporary orders for child support, custody, or spousal support are needed, one of the parties can request them at this time. In some circumstances, the parties will engage in discovery, which may involve answering questions, providing documentation, and giving depositions.
Exits on the Road to Court
Not all divorce cases make it to trial. For some, they find ways to settle their difference as their divorce proceeds. Often, the parties and their attorneys will meet with a mediator. The parties may negotiate a marital settlement agreement and a parenting plan, if one is needed.
Informal settlement negotiations are another option. Attorneys for the divorcing couple communicate demands and concessions until agreements are reached.
Sometimes issues are insurmountable, and settlement is impossible.
When Divorce Litigation Lands in Front of the Judge
Some marriages are complicated, the parties are unwilling to settle, or one of the parties is unable to participate in negotiations. A trial judge will review evidence and listen to testimony given in the courtroom. The judge then hands down appropriate orders that divide the couple’s property and debts, and settles the parties’ child custody, child support, and spousal support issues.
Divorce Litigation Isn’t Easy
But sometimes it is necessary. Make sure your legal representatives know how to guide your divorce case all the way to a judge if that is what it takes.To discuss how to handle divorce litigation issues, please call us at 415-293-8314. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Judy L. Burger assist clients in San Francisco, Beverly Hills, Marin County, Santa Barbara, Ventura/Oxnard, San Jose, Gold River (Sacramento), and surrounding communities.