Cash Flow Planning for Life - Helping you reach your personal & professional financial goals.

Cash Flow Planning for Life

Helping you reach your personal & professional financial goals.

#4. The Divorce Process

Posted by Mark On May 30th

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This is the fourth installment of “Divorce. What You Need to Think About from a Financial Perspective”, which can be downloaded for FREE from makara-assoc.com.

Following the filing of the petition and response, the divorce process continues with a series of steps. This can take weeks, months, or more than a year, depending on how contested your divorce is.

Below is the process a divorce usually follows….

Discovery – In which both parties plead their cases to their attorneys, provide relevant information, financial documents, etc.

Custody Evaluation – When a divorce case involves minor children, and there has been no agreement regarding custody or visitation rights, the courts will often order a custody evaluation. This is a series of interviews and psychological screenings of parents, children, and any other individuals that are involved in the children’s life. The goal is to determine a custody arrangement that is in the best interests of the children.

Pretrial Conference or Mediation – The purpose of this conference or mediation is to address or clear up any lingering matters that need to be settled before trial, such as any outstanding discovery requests or objections to evidence or witnesses that the other party will seek to produce at trial. Ideally, if a divorce can be settled in Mediation, it will save both parties the cost and stress of a trial. If an agreement can be met, the mediator will work with attorneys to draw up a settlement, and it is then filed with the court for the judges approval, eliminating the need for a full trial.

Trial – If a settlement is not reached in Mediation, you will need to go to have a full trial, and leave the settlement agreement in the hands of the judge. Here, formal presentations of evidence and legal arguments are made in support of each party’s case in front of a judge.Divorce

Decree of Dissolution – After all of the evidence has been presented, the judge will render a decision in the form of a “decree of dissolution”, or divorce decree. It should cover all of the issues that were raised in the trial, including property distribution and child custody. If the parties have agreed to a property settlement or custody arrangement outside of court, whether before or after the court has heard evidence, the agreement must be submitted to the judge for his or her approval.

Before initiating the divorce process, it is important to consult with an attorney, as well as your accountant, so you are prepared legally and financially.  If you would like to learn more about us or if you are in need of further assistance, please contact us online, call (239)384-9688, or follow us on Twitter.

– Mark

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