If you’re looking to conclude your marriage, or if you’ve been served with a divorce suit, you will need to protect yourself and your family. We won’t lie: it’s a stressful process. Let our experienced trial attorneys handle the rough stuff and guide you through the dissolution process.
Stage One: Filing a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage
Every divorce begins with the filing of a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage. The Petition opens a court case, which will be assigned to a family court judge. A process server will serve the other spouse with a copy of the Petition and a court summons, which commands the other spouse to reply to the Petition.
Stage Two: Disclosures and Discovery
The parties to a divorce are required to provide financial disclosures, and like most court cases, the parties are entitled to “discovery.” The discovery process ensures each spouse and his/her lawyer are entitled to a full investigation of the family and the issues — financial, child-raising, etc. — that arise in most divorce cases.
Stage Three: Potential Settlement
Most family court judges are eager to see cases resolve without a trial. Our experienced family court trial attorneys take every case assuming it will be tried, but understand settlement discussions will almost always take place. Experienced trial attorneys can use willingness to try a case as an important bargaining tool, whether through informal discussions among lawyers, or through the mediation process.
Stage Four: Trial
When a case doesn’t settle, the parties will proceed to a trial in front of a family court judge. Our experienced trial attorneys have tried literally thousands of cases, and are well-versed in the rules of evidence and procedure that many “transactional” divorce lawyers are not.
Stage Five: Appeals, Post-Judgment
After trial, one or both parties may appeal a final judgment to a higher court. The appeals process drags out a divorce, but an experienced trial attorney can make sure the trial court’s favorable rulings are air-tight by “protecting the record” and preserving your rights on appeal. And even if no direct appeal is taken, the trial court’s rulings can be modified or amended after trial.
From start to finish, the divorce process can be rough on a spouse. Our experienced family court trial attorneys can handle the rough stuff for you, protect your family and assets, and help you start a new life without disadvantages. Call us at (954) 329-2222 to schedule a free consultation in our Fort Lauderdale or Davie office.