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Roadmap to Divorce

Roadmap to Divorce

Find an Attorney

Before making any decisions, discuss your plans for divorce with an attorney. Choosing the right attorney makes a major difference in your case’s outcome. You deserve a legal advocate who listens carefully to your concerns. It is important that you like and trust your attorney. Our legal team puts you and your family’s best interests first, helping you feel confident throughout the entire process.

Pre-divorce Planning

After making the decision to proceed with a divorce, there are several important details to address. A knowledgeable attorney will help you understand what it means to divorce your spouse, how assets and property could be divided, and how any children’s issues will be addressed. Hammer Serna & Quinn, LLC is ready to guide you through your pre-divorce planning and address any concerns you may have before taking the next step. 

File Divorce Petition

In order to formally begin the divorce process, you must file a Petition for Dissolution of Marriage with the court. You must give notice to your spouse by serving the Petition upon your spouse either by a Sheriff or a private process server. Your spouse may then hire his/her own attorney or decide to represent him/herself. It is at that point that we can begin negotiating the terms of your divorce. The attorneys at Hammer Serna & Quinn will guide you every step of the way  

Custody Proceedings

Oftentimes, parties can and do reach temporary agreements regarding their children while the divorce is pending. Sometimes, this is not possible under the circumstances and the issue may be contested between the parties. Child custody is usually the most difficult and emotional part of a contested divorce. We will listen to your concerns and vigorously represent your position with regard to all issues affecting your children such as decision making regarding the educational, medical and religious upbringing of the child, and parenting time. 

Discovery

During the discovery stage of the divorce, you will develop a clear understanding of your and the other party’s assets, property, and debts. The information is presented in writing so you may confirm or deny each requested provision. The discovery phase is very important, especially in cases where a spouse may not be as familiar with the family finances. Full disclosure and a complete picture of your assets and debts are necessary in order to determine an equitable outcome for your case.  

Pre-Trial Settlement Conference

In order to help close any settlement gaps between the parties, or to push the parties closer to settlement, the court will often hold a pre-trial settlement conference. At a pre-trial settlement conference, the judge meets with the lawyers involved and hears what they expect the trial evidence will be. Based on the information provided, the judge can make recommendations that are consistent with how they would rule if the case went to trial.

Depositions: Depositions are used to secure testimony or obtain information that wasn’t discovered through written discovery, including interrogatories and requests for production. We will help you decide who to depose before the trial.

Finalizing Discovery: Right before a hearing, both parties will have to provide supplementary information to the other side. In simpler terms, you have an obligation to update the other side with current information on your income, assets, and debts. Cases with custody disputes and complex financial issues often employ the use of expert witnesses. It is critical to have a seasoned lawyer who understands how to use expert witnesses effectively, as they can make or break your case in court.

Divorce Trial Preparation

While the majority of family law cases can be settled out of court, sometimes that is not possible. The skilled trial lawyers at Hammer Serna & Quinn will prepare you for trial so that we may present your strongest position before the court in order to protect your interests.

Post-Decree

After your initial divorce is resolved by way of trial or settlement, you may need to return to the court regarding certain matters. This most often occurs in cases where there is an obligation to pay maintenance or child support or where there are other children’s issues such as parenting time. This is often due to the need to modify support or to seek enforcement of the terms regarding support and other issues. Any time there is court action on your case after the entry of the original divorce judgment this is considered “post-judgment” or “post-decree” litigation.  

Get In Touch

Call or email Hammer Serna & Quinn, LLC today to schedule a consultation.

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