When ending a marriage, you need to make sure your rights are protected. You want an Idaho Falls family attorney who will look out for your best interest and represent you in court.
Every divorce is different, every case has its own issues, and it’s important to know what’s going on with the law during the process so you can make informed choices about your future. This, of course, can’t be done without a competent divorce lawyer to guide you through the process.
Legal separation begins when one spouse files a petition for divorce or dissolution of marriage with the court. A summons must be issued within five days of filing that tells the other spouse to appear in court within 30 days to respond to the petition. They may contest it if they believe there are grounds for reconciliation or they do not intend to end their marriage legally (for example, if the spouse filing for divorce does not meet residency requirements). If they do not contest it, then the divorcing parties will begin negotiations on division of property and assets, child support, and custody.
Given that divorce is never easy on children, many parents try to keep things amicable so the process goes as smoothly as possible. However, keeping things amicable during this time can be very difficult because emotions run high and people feel hurt by what happened in their marriage—not to mention the confrontational nature of divorce court (or any courtroom setting for that matter). Arguments can become heated and more frequent than ever before with tragic consequences.
In short, the family law cases like the divorce process can be a long and stressful, and divorce hearings are an important part of this process. It’s important to have a family attorney who you trust to advocate for you. He or she will help make the process easier and help you get the most out of the situation.
What Happens in a Divorce Hearing?
A divorce hearing is not just one single court appearance. A typical divorce hearing often includes multiple back to back court appearances over the course of a few days up to a week. These are typical in divorce proceedings.
The first appearance you attend may be an Idaho law mandatory pretrial conference. An Idaho judge will give each party time during this pretrial conference to discuss what should happen next in your case with their Idaho Falls attorney present.
If you are unable to agree on certain issues, the judge may set another date for your next divorce hearing where both parties will have another chance to meet and negotiate or come to an agreement on various issues.
The judge will make decisions regarding custody, child support, visitation times, and general parenting plans.
How Are Divorce Hearings Conducted?
Divorce hearings are conducted in district courts. Divorce hearings are held before an Idaho judge, not a jury.
You will be asked to provide financial information regarding your employment status, income level, credit worthiness, etc. You will also be expected to provide documentation for this information.
A family court lawyer can help you prepare for these hearings by helping organize your testimony and evidence necessary to win your divorce case. He or she will also be there to represent you and can do all of the talking for you.
The Difference Between a Divorce Hearing & a Divorce Trial
There are two types of divorce court proceedings: a divorce hearing and a divorce trial. A divorce hearing is an opportunity for you to ask the family court judge to make determinations regarding child custody, visitation, alimony, and property division. You will have the opportunity to testify as well as present evidence such as letters, cards, or photographs from your marriage if you would like.
A divorce trial is more similar to a criminal law case like personal injury than a mere hearing. This takes place when a party refuses to consent to the family court’s ruling on these four issues or when they do not receive the outcome that they want from the judge at their first divorce hearing. In this case, more aggressive legal representation is typically necessary.
Divorce trials are tricky opportunities for divorce lawyers who specialize in family law because intimate details about their client’s lives are often revealed. Additionally, the division of property and child custody can be difficult to navigate. Even if lawyers have had success with these types of cases before, they will sometimes recommend that the client not proceed further unless they are absolutely certain that these issues must be resolved by a judge at trial.
That said, attorney-client privilege prevents lawyers from revealing the specific concerns they may have about a case.
If you’re considering hiring a family law attorney and wondering when the right time to hire one is, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with court processes and procedures related to divorce cases in order to get insight into whether or not litigation is necessary.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Divorce Court Process
Are Divorce Court Proceedings Public Record?
Typically, divorce court proceedings are not open to the public. The reason for this is that they involve the personal lives of most citizens.
Can Divorce Court Orders Be Changed?
In most cases, a family law attorney can help you change a divorce court order.
For instance, if you want to change an existing custody agreement, or if both parties involved agree on new terms and have the agreement notarized, it is possible but there is a legal process that must be followed.
The first step is going before a judge for a modification hearing in which either party can present their case as to why the custody arrangement should be changed. After this hearing takes place, the judge will make a ruling on whether or not they support the modifications. If they do, everything from visitation schedules to child support payments may be altered.
How Long Can Divorce Court Last?
It depends. If either party does not agree with the judge’s ruling, the case may go to trial. This is when a court decides if custody arrangements will remain as they are, or be modified. Custody trials can take months and even years before they get resolved. For this reason it is important to get an attorney involved immediately so that your side of the story can be heard, accurately represented, and aggressively fought for while memories are still fresh and you have the best possible chance at winning in court.
If you are thinking about getting a divorce in the near future, it is very important that you have an attorney on your side. If you agree with everything that your spouse wants when it comes to custody arrangements and support then you are in a rare and fortunate position; if, on the other hand, you and your spouse have irreconcilable disagreements, a family attorney is more necessary than ever.
If this sounds like what’s happening in your case, consult with a family law attorney for legal assistance at our law firm.