The decision to divorce is never an easy one. Between splitting your assets, sharing custody of your children, and ending your time as a couple, the changes can feel overwhelming.
That’s where we come in. Involving an experienced family law attorney early on in the divorce process is crucial to preserving your long-term financial and emotional well-being.
Leslie and the team know that you’re navigating one of the most challenging times of your life, and we are here to help you every step of the way. Our practice takes a personal approach to your divorce, guiding you through everything from your course of legal action to creating the best possible arrangements for you and your family.
Once you’ve come to the decision to divorce, you’ll begin the process with Leslie and the team at your side.
Determine Your Path
As your marriage is terminated, details like child custody, spousal support, property division and more will need to be sorted out. If you and your spouse agree in writing to the way you plan to move forward post-marriage, you will have an uncontested divorce and will likely avoid adversarial litigation, working with Leslie and the other party’s attorney to come to a mutual understanding.
If you cannot agree, you will have a contested divorce. In a contested divorce, the process can be long and often costly. To avoid that, we usually recommend moving forward with mediation or collaborative law to pursue a swift and peaceful resolution for you and your family. This is not always possible however, in which case you would go through full litigation (see below) with a family court judge.
Summons and Petition. This is your initial paperwork, formally beginning divorce proceedings and giving formal notice to your spouse about your intent to obtain a divorce.
Response. The other party will acknowledge that the divorce procedure has begun with a response.
Motions/Request for Order (RFO)/Temporary Orders. These are formal requests to the court to order an action before the trial. For example, in situations where the parties are unable to agree on a parenting plan, it is not uncommon for an RFO to be filed to establish child custody and visitation.
Mandatory Disclosures. During this phase of the proceeding, each side gathers information regarding their assets, debts, income and expenses which will be compiled and provided to the other party. It is an important phase in all divorces, particularly if you believe your spouse is hiding assets.
Discovery. In the event that additional information is needed, each side is able to conduct formal discovery to obtain the information. These include Request for Production Documents, Family Law Form Interrogations and depositions to name a few.
Trial. This is your critical court appearance before the judge where your case will be decided. The trial may include witnesses, friends, financial experts, psychologists, as well as evidence such as financial records.
Judgment. This occurs in every case regardless of whether it’s contested, not contested, or mediated. The judgment is the final decision in your divorce. The judge will not cast blame on either party like you might see in a criminal proceeding, and this judgment is simply a legal statement of the rulings on the trial’s issues, such as custody, visitation, support and property division.
Interested in learning more about the divorce process? We’re here to help you. Contact a team member at Leslie A. Soley, Attorney at Law today by clicking here.