The divorce process involves multiple steps, even if the spouses are able to reach an agreement and execute a settlement on their own without the need for court intervention. However, if litigation ensues, and a trial is required to resolve any outstanding issues, the process can be especially involved. Typically, if a judge is asked to decide any legal issues between a divorcing couple, multiple requests for information and motions related to the claims each party is making will be filed, ultimately culminating in a trial, where the judge will hear arguments, accept evidence and render a judgment.
Even in uncontested divorces, attending multiple hearings is not uncommon before the final divorce judgment is issued, and this can be a nerve-racking experience, regardless of the level of mutual agreement. By contrast, if a couple’s divorce gets to the trial stage, this event can trigger a lot of stress and worry for each spouse. Emotions run high during divorce, and the thought of appearing before a judge to find out what the terms of the settlement will be is understandably overwhelming for both parties. However, as in all things, information is power, and having a basic understanding about how hearings and trials work during the divorce process can go a long way toward defusing some of the anxiety that these appearances provoke.
When Are Court Appearances Necessary?
How often and how extensive court appearances will be depends on the outstanding issues that must be resolved in a divorce case. Some appearances can be handled by a spouse’s attorney without his or her involvement, but other issues do require the attendance of both spouses before the court will enter an order. For example, if there are requests for temporary child support, alimony, and/or child custody arrangements while the case is pending, each spouse will be expected to appear in person....
Many considerations go into the decision to get divorced; family, finances and personal happiness are important drivers. Making this momentous decision often feels like the hardest part of the process; however, deciding to divorce is just the first of many decisions couples must make as they transition to single adulthood.
One of the earliest and most important decisions in the divorce process is where to file the case. For many couples, this issue is not terribly complicated if both parties live in close proximity. Yet knowing where to file is not so straightforward for those who live in different states or in different parts of the same state.
One example of how contested this issue can become is seen in the highly contested divorce case of former House Representative Jesse Jackson, Jr., who is in the middle of a months-long battle with his wife, former Chicago Alderman Sandi Jackson, over whether the divorce should be granted in Illinois or Washington, D.C....