Divorce Process - a Basic Explanation

Here is a basic explanation of how a divorce progresses.

Lawsuit is started - attorney for the spouse who initiated the divorce prepares the initial documents files them in court, and has them delivered to the other spouse.

Answer - the spouse who is being sued answers the allegations in divorce papers. Not answering means letting the spouse who started the lawsuit get everything he or she is asking for.

Preliminary requests - If not already demanded in the beginning of the lawsuit, now is the time to request things which cannot wait until the end of the divorce, such as child support and maintenance.

Preliminary Conferences – The first preliminary conference is usually scheduled within 45 days from the start of the case. Both parties and their attorneys have to appear before the judge to try to settle some issues and set a timeline for the progress of the case.

Discovery - discovery is the process of obtaining information from each other relating to issues in the case. Information is obtained through requests for documents, written questions, and oral examinations.

Pre-Trial Conferences - once discovery is completed, the first pre-trial conference is held, where the judge makes sure that discovery is indeed complete, and sets a schedule for pre-trial procedures.

Pre-Trial Filings - Before trial, parties may submit documents and hold hearings regarding evidence and witnesses to be used at trial.

Trial  – evidence and witnesses are presented, and a judge makes a determination over issues such as custody, visitation, and equitable distribution.

Post-Trial - Parties sometimes submit post-trial documents which explain their position during the trial.

Appeal – the party who did not agree with the court’s decision can appeal to a higher court to try and get the decision reversed.


Top 5 Dirty Divorce Tricks and Tips for Avoiding Them - Will your spouse play dirty? Find out what you should look out for and how to prevent it.

When you are trying to get back at your spouse, posting pictures of drinking or drug use is not a good idea - it can be used as evidence of being an unfit parent.

Albert Gurevich, Esq.