What Happens if You Have to Go to Trial?
Even though few divorces are amicable, many divorces still settle without having to go to trial. However, depending on your case and the extent of your assets, it may be in your best interest to go to trial to fight for what you want and deserve out of your divorce. What can you expect if you do end up in court?
Why Go to Court?
If you cannot get a fair divorce agreement out of negotiations with your spouse, then it may be beneficial for you to have your day in court. Even if you can agree on asset distribution and alimony payments, you still might be in disagreement over child custody and visitation, which could go on for years without court intervention. (If your divorce has not been resolved within five years of filing for it, then you may have to start the process over.) By going to trial – or at least by threatening to do so – you will be able to compel discovery and obtain additional transparency from your spouse, which will help you realize how much you should be entitled to and what a fair amount to negotiate for is.
One of the most important steps in the divorce process is discovery. Both sides will ask questions and request documents from the other side, and both parties will have to respond to the other’s questions and requests. Through this discovery process, more information about assets, incomes and expenses should come to light. One document included in this process is called the Declaration of Disclosure. In this document, each spouse must list all assets and whether they are marital or non-marital property. Even though the goal of this process is to create transparency in order to make it easier to make a fair ruling, your lawyer may be able to object to some questions that are asked and prevent some documents from being obtained by the other side, so you are not completely exposed just because you end up going to trial.
Even if your divorce case does end up looking like it is going to go to trial, that does not mean that it cannot still be settled as it progresses. Many cases that start off looking like they are impossible to solve without the help of a trial end up settling out of court. Whether or not you end up going to trial, once an agreement is finalized, your attorney will file a Judgment of the Dissolution of Marriage, and your divorce will be official.
Contact an Experienced California Divorce Attorney if you Have More Questions
No matter how complicated your divorce, we can help. For help with your case or in any other aspect of family law, you can turn to the Law Office of Renkin & Associates for the help that you deserve. We are prepared to answer your questions and fight for your assets.