Do I Have To Go To Court For My Divorce?


Whether or not you will be required to appear in court at any point during your divorce depends on two things.

First, if you file the petition for divorce you are more likely to have to appear in court.

Second, if your divorce is contested, then you are more likely to appear in court.

Appearing In Court When The Parties Are Amicable

If your divorce case is relatively amicable and you and your spouse are able to come to an agreement on all of the issues in your case, then you will end up presenting an Agreed Final Decree of Divorce to the court.

In that case, one of the spouses will have to appear at a prove up hearing to provide the necessary testimony for the judge to sign the proposed final decree. The other spouse may appear at the hearing but is usually not required to do so.

The prove up hearing is a relatively quick and straight forward hearing with a dozen or so standard questions depending on the issues in the case.

In most cases, the spouse who filed for divorce will make that appearance at the prove up hearing. However, in some situations the other spouse may appear and if the parties wish, both spouses can appear and testify at that hearing.

Appearing In Court In Contested Cases

It is much more likely that you will appear in court at least twice for a contested divorce case.

The first time will be early in the case when you appear at a temporary orders hearing. Since you and your spouse are likely unable to agree on any of the issues in your case, even small ones such as who pays the utilities, the judge will issue temporary orders.

At the temporary orders hearing the judge will issue orders on things such as who has access to the house, who gets to drive which car, who will pay the bills each month, what the temporary child custody schedule will be, temporary child support, and any temporary maintenance.

You will have to appear at that hearing to produce financial information on your income and expenses as well as offer testimony on each of these issues.

The second time you appear will either be at a trial or at a hearing on a final decree that results from settlement discussions or mediation.

Bryan Willis
Do I Have To Go To Court For My Divorce?

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