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What are some things to expect when litigating a divorce?

Many individuals in Gig Harbor seeking a divorce are doing so for the first time, and may have little experience with courtroom procedures when it comes to dissolving a marriage. In general, what can one expect in the divorce litigation process? Keep in mind that each couple's situation is unique and this post cannot promise any specific outcome. Instead, individuals should consult with an attorney to learn how their specific case will be handled.

That being said, one significant part of the divorce process, after it is determined that the case will go to court, is the discovery process. Discovery is the formal way that individuals are required to disclose information pertaining to the legal issues in their divorce. For example, during the discovery process documents may be requested, an individual may be deposed or an individual may be required to answer written questions via an interrogatory. In addition, individuals may consult with other professionals in order to have their assets appraised or undergo a psychological exam. The information gleaned from the discovery process will be used to build your case, making it a very important component of a divorce.

Another thing to expect when litigating a divorce case is the fact that, while divorce is understandably an emotional process, a judge will be impartial and may essentially resolve divorce legal issues in a manner that seems almost businesslike. It is important to stay cool, collected and to answer questions fully and accurately.

Sometimes individuals seeking a divorce have children, meaning issues regarding child custody and child support will need to be resolved. However, unless the judge specifically asks that a child appear in court, keeping the child out of the litigation process may be in the child's best interests. The judge, if necessary, may be able to take the child's testimony out of the courtroom in his or her chambers.

These are only some things to expect if your divorce will be litigated. However, keep in mind that even if your court starts off being litigated, you still may be able to come to a settlement out of court. However, whether you settle your divorce or litigate your divorce, you may want to retain an attorney to better understand the divorce process and your options.

Source: The Huffington Post, "Are You Prepared for Your Day in (Divorce) Court?" Bari Zell Weinberger, Esq., Feb. 29, 2016

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