What are the Steps of a Contested Divorce?
When many spouses first walk into our office, one of the first questions they want to know is whether their divorce case will have to go to trial. In other words, they are inquiring if a contested final hearing is necessary. Whether the entire case or just some important issues have to be resolved in court will often depend on the attorney who has been hired. Experienced family law attorneys such as those at Bunde & Roberts, P.C. are familiar with all issues that may arise or are already present in divorce matters. Knowing how to resolve those issues without having to seek judicial intervention is invaluable to parties in a divorce. Parties should consider the following if they are contemplating a divorce.
Hire an attorney. Whether the divorce is going to be amicable or not, no substitute exists for having an experienced divorce attorney. Family law tends to be complicated and nuanced. Going at it on your own may have costly consequences down the line.
Determine if filing for divorce or support is appropriate After providing your attorney with all the necessary factual information on your marriage and your financial situation, a determination will be made whether you will need to file a complaint in divorce or a complaint for support.. There are legal consequences to filing an action in court and a party should be aware of those consequences to determine whether filing is the right move for them. An experienced family law attorney such as those at Bunde & Roberts, P.C. can thoroughly explain your options to allow you to choose what the best course of action is for you.
Interim Proceedings. There are often proceedings that take place prior to the final trial to determine how assets and liabilities are going to be divided and whether alimony will be awarded. These proceedings may include issues such as whether one party shall have exclusive possession of the marital home; whether assets are to be frozen by injunction during the proceedings; whether a support obligation exists not only as between spouses but also as to child support; whether appraisals or valuations need to be ordered, etc. The decisions made on how to approach these issues may have a very big impact on the final resolution of the case. As such, it is important to approach these decisions with the bigger picture in mind. Doing so takes experience in family law and hiring an attorney familiar with these types of issues and their impact on the case is very important.
Discovery process. In order to reach a settlement or go to trial, the marital estate needs to be identified and valued. This can happen informally or through the Rules of Civil Procedure. Attorneys will request and exchange information regarding their clients. Usually this phase includes interrogatories, requests for admissions or production of documents, and depositions. It is only after discovery is complete and both sides have all the information they need that a matter can proceed to settlement or trial. Discovery can be time-consuming and expensive. Experienced family law attorneys know what information is needed to identify and value assets. This experience can significantly reduce costs for clients because discovery will not be misused and will be specific and detailed to gather the information needed to either settle or try the case.
Marathon, not a sprint. A divorce matter can take months and sometimes years to resolve. How quickly a matter can be resolved depends on the complexity of issues in the case as well as the experience of the attorneys. An experienced family law attorney such as those at Bunde & Roberts, P.C. knows how to resolve complex issues and knows the best manner in which to do so. There are a number of steps along the way to go from hiring an attorney to being done with your case. It is imperative that you have an experienced attorney to guide you through that long process.
Contact a Pittsburgh Divorce Attorney Today
If you are thinking about getting a divorce or have already filed, now is the time to hire an experienced attorney to help you through this complicated legal procedure. Our Pittsburgh divorce attorneys will give you step-by-step guidance to make sure you and your children are protected. Even if you and your spouse believe the divorce is amicable, hiring an attorney to work you through the uncontested process can save you time and money in the end. Pick up the phone today and call Bunde & Roberts, P.C. for help.