Is it strategic to file a motion with your divorce petition?

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Although a divorce case begins with the filing of a divorce petition in court, that doesn’t mean the case has to stay there. Indeed, our family law firm works to save our clients both time and emotional headaches by negotiating as many issues as possible outside of the court. Such negotiations, although informal, are still attended by the parties’ attorneys. That way, a party can be assured that his or her best interests are still being protected, and that no issues have been overlooked.

If you do have to seek court involvement to resolve contested divorce issues, are there tips for making the process smoother? Our advice is to consult with an attorney that has experience not only in alternative dispute resolution methods, such as divorce mediation, but also actual trial experience.

The process begins with the filing of a divorce petition in the court where at least one spouse is domiciled. The petition requests that the marriage be dissolved. A petition may also state other requests for relief, such as spousal maintenance. That filing starts the procedural clock for effecting service of process. Once the other spouse has been served, other court deadlines go into effect, including any deadlines to answer or respond to applicable documents.

Yet even the divorce petition filing might be done with an eye toward litigation strategy and a client’s unique circumstances. For example, some petitions may include additional documents, such as requests for discovery or a deposition notice, motions for temporary relief, or perhaps a notice of a court hearing date regarding an initial motion or a request for a temporary restraining order. Our divorce and family law firm has the experience to advocate on your behalf in this process.

Source: FindLaw, “Family Court and Final Judgment,” copyright 2016, Thomson Reuters

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