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Why is a trial sometimes needed in a divorce?

Although negotiations may resolve a majority of divorce cases, some still require divorce litigation. Specifically, if the parties in a divorce are unable to resolve one or more issues, a trial is a time-tested way of finalizing the proceeding.

In a recent example, a spouse filed for a divorce from her husband, who owns a business. To the extent an immediate divorce is not possible, the wife requested a bifurcated divorce. The wife seeks an immediate divorce. A trial, scheduled at a later date, would resolve the property and debt division issues. In this instance, litigation is needed because of the complexities involved in dividing business assets during a divorce.

Divorce Litigation Does Not Have to Be a Courtroom Battle

Yet if divorcing parties do need to have the court resolve certain issues, it is important to respect the court’s inherent authority. For starters, parties should pay careful heed to any scheduling orders. The court typically sets deadlines for the parties’ exchange of discovery, as well as motion filings. Let’s take a closer look at how these deadlines apply in context.

Divorce Litigation May Utilize Discovery Methods

In the example of property division, the parties generally conduct discovery to obtain a more complete financial picture of the marital estate. The parties may opt for forensic accounting, including the inventory and valuation of assets. The parties may also utilize traditional discovery methods, including requests for production, interrogatories, subpoenas to third parties, and depositions. The exchange of discovery can protect both parties, identifying commonly overlooked financial issues.

Our family law attorneys know how to build a strong case for trial, interweaving the documents, evidence, and witness testimony gathered and developed during the discovery phase into a coherent trial narrative.

Source: CJ Online, “Vikki Lindemuth seeks emergency divorce from developer husband,” Steve Fry, May 31, 2017

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