For a couple to file a Petition for Dissolution, they must have resolution as to all of the issues prior to filing with the Court. This agreement must be identified in a document known as a Separation Agreement. This document will address the division of assets and liabilities. It also identifies terms of support and health insurance. If there are children, a Parenting Plan must be finalized prior to filing the Petition with the Court.
Once the Petition is filed, the Court will set the matter for a final hearing, approximately 30 to 90 days after the Petition is filed. The final hearing is relatively short. Both spouses must attend the final hearing and testify. An example of the questions that will be asked is: “Have you provided a full and complete disclosure of all of your assets and liabilities?’ For more information concerning the final dissolution hearing, please refer to our blog, “Final Dissolution Hearing – What You Need to Know.”
If you are interested in learning more about Dissolution and the process options available to you, please contact our office to schedule an initial consultation with one of our attorneys.
A divorce/litigation process begins when one of the parties to a marriage files a lawsuit against the other, and then the lawsuit is assigned to a Judge. The adversarial divorce process can be very costly, both financially and emotionally. The Court will require the attendance of both parties and their counsel to attend Court hearings, pre-trials, and conferences as the case progresses through the court system.
The Court encourages the parties to work toward a resolution of their issues; however, if this is not possible, a Judge or Magistrate will hear evidence, listen to testimony and make a ruling in the matter, deciding upon the division of assets, the amount of support and parenting issues.
After many years of practicing in the area of family law, it our belief that the most stable agreements are those that are reached by and between the couple with the assistance and guidance of professionals, rather than launching into a litigated process through filing a Complaint for Divorce. Litigation should be a last resort, if used at all.