Petition the court with requests relating to debts, child custody, and support. File responses to spouse. Financial disclosures and parenting plans provided by each side.
File divorce petition and serve opposing party.
Homework (goals, budget, inventory)
Refining desired outcomes
Assessing and handling immediate problems
Possible temporary order while case pending.
If your case is settled you can submit the settlement to the judge to finalze 30 days after your case has been on file. If there is no settlement or if more information is needed before deciding, information and documents may be gathered using discovery.
Serve discovery requests
Help devise specific questions to ask spouse in discovery
Drafting responses to spouse's discovery questions
Gathering information and determining what other information is needed
Hire expert witnesses
Analyze expert reports
If there is an issue with custody, many courts require mediation before your case can be set for trial
Discovery responses due
Re-assess goals now that discovery is complete and prepare for mediation
Begin negotiation process;
Draft and exchange settlement offers;
Prepare for mediation
Negotiate and settle
If there is no settlement in mediation, remaining trial preparations resume.
All evidence ready for trial 30 days out
Pretrial due 14 days out
If not settled, work closely with your attorney on trial prep and witness prep.
Depositions, witness testimony preparation, exhibits, etc.
Continue settlement negotiations
Sign final documents
Waiting for trial date; Trial; Decision ("Under Advisement"); Motions; Appeal
*This timeline guide provides a general view of the process. Though the majority of cases last anywhere between three to nine months, divorce cases may differ in length depending on a number of factors. Most cases will settle out of court.