Straight talk with David Badanes, Esq., an experienced divorce attorney who has been assisting individuals with postnuptial agreements, and with matrimonial law issues.
What is the process of a contested divorce?
If you are involved in a contested divorce, there are many stages involved in a contested divorce. The first thing that will happen will be a preliminary conference. You and your spouse are required to go to court and the attorneys, and you may meet with the judge to give the basic information to the judge about your particular case – how many children, what your income is, whether you own a house, what your general assets are. It’s not a full-blown hearing. It’s a meeting with the judge to get the basic information about your divorce. That’s what a preliminary conference is.
After the preliminary conference, typically the next stage is what’s called discovery. This is where you and your spouse will exchange information with the respective attorneys or all the documents involved in your financial information, income taxes, bank information, pension information, insurance information, and all the financial documents that will be needed for the divorce.
After the discovery is completed. There may be what’s called a deposition or what some people call EBT. Deposition is where you sit down, and the attorney gets to ask you with questions about your financials. Again, how much income you make, how much schooling you’ve had, how many child support you’ve been paying. The other attorney gets to ask you questions, and your attorney gets to ask your spouse with questions as well.
After deposition, there will be preparation for a trial. And that again goes through the financial information and prepares you for trial. And then eventually, there will be a trial scheduled and at the day of the trial typically the judge will ask if there’s been a settlement or can the parties go and try to settle the case. The judges always like to have settlements even on the day of trial. If you cannot settle the case then, of course, there will be a trial and that could by anywhere from one day, 3 days or 3 weeks depending on how complicated your divorce is.