If you are going through a hotly contested divorce, it is likely you will end up in front of a judge, sooner or later. While uncontested divorces—divorces in which the couple agrees about most all issues—will not require the spouses to argue their case in court, those divorces which are contentious from day one probably will. The attorneys at The Law Place have been helping couples just like you through the most difficult divorces for many years.
We have earned the trust of many grateful family law clients, and have an outstanding reputation in Florida family law. The Law Place attorneys are experienced and knowledgeable regarding Florida laws. We understand that going through a divorce is stressful, and if you are forced to go to trial, your stress level will increase exponentially. Our attorneys will stand by your side from beginning to end, protecting your rights and your future.
What Leads Up to a Florida Divorce Trial?
Prior to a divorce trial, you and your spouse have probably been through temporary hearings, depositions, interrogatories and a steady stream of meetings with your attorney. You and your spouse may disagree about nearly everything pertaining to your divorce: asset division, child custody, spousal support and even the division of household items. You may have gone through mediation only to find that you and your spouse are still unable to reach a mutually acceptable resolution to your divorce. You have exchanged financial information and answered question after question, and you may be wondering if your divorce will ever be over. Witnesses have been called, probably even expert witnesses, for your pre-trial hearings yet no agreement has been hammered out. At this point, the judge is likely to set a date for a divorce trial.
The Final Divorce Hearing
Before the day of your hearing, make sure you know how to get to the courthouse and through security—and that your witnesses have the same information. Once your case is called, you will move to the front of the courtroom. At your final divorce hearing you will be required to testify to all issues which remain in dispute, and will be sworn in prior to that testimony. Your attorney may subpoena witnesses to testify on your behalf and depending on the scope of your divorce, the court may have scheduled a day, half a day, or up to a week for your divorce trial. Just like television, witnesses will be called and cross-examined by the attorneys. Rarely will there be a jury, only a judge. The attorneys will present opening and closing statements.
You should dress carefully for your final divorce hearing; while you are not required to wear a suit or dress, business casual is required. If you are considering wearing shorts, a halter top, frayed or faded jeans, a t-shirt emblazoned with a saying, a short skirt or flip flops—please, reconsider. When you appear in court, you are providing a snapshot of your life. Like it or not, our society judges others based on appearance, therefore your appearance at this final hearing is exceptionally important. Remember that a conservative judge will be making decisions about your future, so dress appropriately.
Your attorney will have subpoenaed any information required from your spouse, including financials. During closing arguments, both attorneys will summarize the evidence presented during the trial, and it will be time for the judge’s final ruling. In many cases the judge will rule when the case is over, however in some instances the judge may take the case under advisement, rendering a ruling days later. When the final ruling is made, your attorney will create either a comprehensive final divorce decree, or possibly separate orders on the division of assets, spousal support and child custody. If a pension is involved, pension orders will be prepared as well as any orders for continuing health insurance for minor children.
All these orders will reflect the judge’s rulings, and your divorce will (finally) be final. Unfortunately, you are not done, even though your divorce is final. You now must carry out the rulings made by the judge; property will be sold, conveyed, divided or refinanced, perhaps a new deed for the marital home will be prepared, wills will be revised, visitation arrangements put into effect and if a pension fund is part of the divorce, monies will be transferred.
At The Law Place, we want to ensure the divorce process goes as smoothly as possible and in the least taxing manner for you. We will take as much time as necessary to properly evaluate your divorce case, answering all your questions along the way. We have the ability to listen, relate and truly empathize with our divorcing clients, and the legal skills and knowledge to create the most beneficial divorce settlement possible.