There are times that divorce moves smoothly and there are times that it doesn’t. When it doesn’t, it is referred to as a contested divorce because there is something that the parties cannot agree upon. This does require the intervention of a Maple Grove divorce lawyer because the matter needs to be settled. However, there are times that the mediation process is not enough and the issue has to be settled in the courtroom.
There is a process that is involved in a contested divorce the process starts with the preliminary case workup, discovery, settlement discussions, and then trial. This process is necessary to ensure that all of the bases are covered, but it does lengthen the divorce process and makes it more complex. Fortunately, having a competent, patient, and determined attorney working with you will make the process as painless as possible on a legal level.
Preliminary Case Workup
During this stage, a lot of information is retrieved from clients. This information includes bank statements, credit card statements, titles, and property documents. All of the asset information must be provided so that the attorney knows what is at stake and knows how to better negotiate with the other side. This information also allows for a petition to be drafted for Dissolution of marriage. The client signs off and the spouse will later be served with the papers. Once served, the documents are filed with the court and placed on a docket. This process is a 30 day process, but can sometimes be less.
A lot is asked of the other side in this phase because information needs to be gathered about the spouse’s possessions and to also determine what position may be taken on the case. There may be a meeting with the judge regarding temporary custody of children and child support. It is also necessary to establish spousal maintenance and who will be living in the homestead, especially when children may be involved. Your Maple Grove family law attorney will take care of this for you, including talking with the experts that will place valuation on the property and business interests or perform a custody evaluation. This process can take a few months.
Efforts will be made to settle before ever going to a courtroom. This process involves sitting down with the other side and discussing settlement options. In the meantime, a pre-trial hearing will need to be conducted to discuss the issues being disputed in settlement efforts. If a settlement cannot be reached, then the case must go to trial. If a settlement is reached, then a marital termination agreement is prepared and this agreement states in writing the terms of the divorce and both parties sign it.
The trial is tried to the court and not a jury. How long the trial takes depends on how many issues exist in the case. Some cases are done in a day and others can take several days. If the divorce makes it to trial, the expense goes up and trials can be emotionally trying, but there are times when they are necessary. Usually, trials occur due to spousal maintenance issues or disputed child custody.
Maple Grove Divorce Lawyer
If you need to file for divorce, we can help you. We know all about divorce law, as well as the emotional ramifications that occur with such a difficult decision. To schedule your free initial consultation, call us at (952) 898-6834 or fill out the contact form so that you can learn about the different options available to you and what to expect in your case. You do not have to be alone in the process, whether it is contested or not.