A Guide to the Divorce Procedure: During the Divorce through Final Judgement
By Daniel H Moss, Attorney
My previous article provided an overview of some common divorce terms and the initial steps to a typical divorce proceeding. During the pendency of the divorce, the parties will define the issues and try to resolve them.
Your attorney will attempt to find the net worth of the parties and the general financial status of the family. Interrogatories may be sent out requiring answers under oath from the recipient, which may, in part, request complete financial data.
With your consent, depositions may be taken to obtain further information from your spouse or those who have the needed information. Appraisers, actuaries, (if pensions are involved), accountants or behavioral people may be used.
After the discovery work has been completed, you and your attorney will set the goals you wish to obtain. This will not be done hastily, and you will be given an opportunity to study the proposed settlement. Your attorney will advise you as to the likelihood of acceptance of your proposals or what a court may do.
If a settlement is not reached at this point, the court may appoint a mediator to help resolve the matter, or the parties may agree to mediation. If no agreement is reached, the mediator will make a recommendation that is not binding and the court may not see the recommendation. In some instances, the parties may agree to binding arbitration in which an arbitrator is appointed, and his recommendation is binding on both parties.
The attorneys may call a meeting, with both parties present, and try to resolve as many issues as possible. This is a voluntary process, and either party may decline to attend.
If settlement is reached, the parties will be asked to sign a property settlement form containing all the provisions of the settlement. Further, the parties may be required to approve the settlement in court before the Judge, after it is placed on the record.
The Judgment of Divorce is the most important document you will receive. After a settlement is reached and/or the case is tried, the Judgment of Divorce will be entered by the court as your final decree granting you a divorce. It will also contain clauses dealing with such matters as spousal support, custody, child support, parenting time, insurance, dower rights, property settlement and other miscellaneous clauses. If a settlement has been reached, you must carefully read and examine this Judgment, and have your attorney explain it to you before you approve it.
This information is intended to provide some general information about divorce proceedings. It is not intended to answer specific questions about a particular case, as each case is different.
If you have questions or are looking for advice about your specific situation, please contact me directly at 248.855.5656 or [email protected].