The best advice during a divorce is to try to settle the divorce outside the courtroom, but in many cases that is not possible. This is due to many reasons such as you and your spouse can’t reach an agreement on many issues in your divorce, your spouse won’t pay court-ordered support, he or she doesn’t follow the visitation schedule, your spouse gets abusive, and many other reasons. Two types of legal actions that may bring your case into court are motions and trials.
Motions can be made either before or after a trial. If they are made before the trial, they are typically made by a party to the case to obtain the security of a court order that will govern some aspect of the parties’ issues until the time of trial. This is called a pretrial motion. They are used to resolve issues such as the amount one spouse should be required to pay to the other for child support and/or spousal support pending the trial. Temporary custody orders are determined in a pretrial motion. Normally temporary possession of the family home is determined in a pretrial motion. Any necessary protection orders are also put into place at this time. If made after a trial, they are to modify or enforce the orders already in place.
The trial allows the judge to hear the evidence produced by the parties. After hearing the evidence, the judge will decide any issues the parties have not been able to resolve on their own. There are two types of trials: uncontested and contested. Uncontested divorces are handled fairly easily as the spouses are in agreement. Contested divorces, however, very little is agreed upon, leaving the decisions to be made by the judge.
Suddenly finding yourself in a courtroom before a judge can be intimidating and nerve-wracking. If you find yourself in this situation, here are a few tips to make your court appearance as smooth and stress-free as possible.
Remember, even the smallest of details can make a huge difference in the final judgment. Following these seven simple steps will help strengthen your case because everything you say and do inside the courtroom can potentially affect the terms of your divorce and/or custody agreement.
Kevin Hickey Law Partners is here for you and ready to take on your divorce. Let our experience and expertise work for you and your case.