At Legal Action Workshop, we strive to make divorce as easy and as economical as possible. Most of our clients come to agreements on their issues and do not need to go to court.
The process for divorce with Legal Action Workshop begins with a consultation with the Attorney. The purpose of the consultation is to make sure that the client is aware of their legal rights and options. In addition, the client has the opportunity to ask the Attorney any legal questions that they may have. By the end of the consultation, the client will understand their legal options and what they can reasonably expect.
Once the consultation is complete, the client (the petitioner) is given simple and easy to understand questionnaires that can be completed in the office or online. Our staff uses the information in the questionnaires in order to prepare the petition and the divorce is filed. The courts give the divorce a case number and then the spouse is served. Once served, the spouse (the respondent) has 30 days to respond.
In this 30 day period, the petitioner and the respondent can discuss any issues that may pertain to their divorce. Examples of ‘issues’ are division of property and debt, spousal support, or custody, visitation and support of children. If these issues can be resolved by a Marital Settlement Agreement then a court appearance is usually not needed.
This is also a time when the petitioner may request temporary orders for things like spousal support or custody, visitation and support of children. These orders can be made while the divorce is in progress. When the parties are not in agreement, the petitioner may also request restraining orders if needed.
If the respondent does not respond when served and there are no issues to address, the divorce can proceed by default (meaning that the spouse does not respond) and the client is usually granted the divorce without a court appearance. If there are issues that need to be resolved and the spouse does not respond, the petitioner will need to appear in court without the respondent. In this instance, the petitioner can request what they want and the judge makes the final determination.
If the respondent responds when served, then the petitioner is usually in a contested divorce. Most contested divorces also require temporary orders (for child custody & support, spousal support or other issues). In this case a ‘request for order’ would be filed and the parties will go to a hearing. Legal Action Workshop can prepare the necessary paperwork for temporary orders & arrange for an Attorney in court if desired. Once temporary orders are determined, the petitioner or respondent will usually request a trial date. However, the parties can decide to agree on their issues at any time and a trial would not be needed. In this case, one of our Attorneys can prepare a ‘stipulation’ that would address all issues and allow the divorce to be completed without a trial. If agreements cannot be made, both parties will go to court initially for a trial setting conference and then for a trial. Legal Action Workshop can reserve a court date, provide a trial brief for the trial setting conference (if needed) and other documents that may be needed. If desired, we can arrange for an Attorney to appear at the trial for a low flat fee.