Will Your Divorce End Up At Trial?

When pursuing legal action of any type, even a divorce, it's natural to worry that somehow things will end up at court or even trial. Fortunately, the vast majority of cases never go in that direction.

You're right to wonder, though, what a divorce lawyer thinks the odds of such a small possibility might be. Take a look at what usually keeps divorces from going to trial and what drives the rare instances when they do.

Very Little Room for Hearings or Trials

The American divorce system is almost designed as a trial-avoidance machine. Foremost, the system only requires one party to declare irreconcilable differences and sue for divorce. The other side has zero power to prevent a divorce once it is in motion. Some delays are possible if, for example, a spouse is currently serving overseas. Eventually, though, the divorce is going to happen as long as the filing party doesn't change their mind.


For most courts, the preferred tool for addressing unresolved disputes during divorce proceedings is a conference. Usually, a family court judge appoints someone to conduct the conference. The court-appointed officer, typically someone with a background in counseling or family law, sits down with the two sides and their lawyers to hash out what the disagreements are.

After the issues are ironed out, the suit for divorce goes back to the judge, usually without a hearing. The judge will review the agreements the two sides reached at the conference, and they might discuss some of the problems with the court-appointed officer. As long as it appears no one is being deprived of their rights in the agreement, the judge approves the divorce.


Occasionally, a judge will want to hear more before approving a petition. Also, there are times where one side insists on having their day in court. Sometimes a divorce attorney will file a motion because something wasn't right in the documents sent to the court.

The judge will set a hearing date, and the two sides will have to appear and explain what's happening. Normally, the judge hears their concerns, rules on basic concerns, and then approves the divorce potentially with a few modifications.


There are two things that send many divorce cases to trial. First, one side may believe they have strong evidence of fraud and the court wants to hear about it. Typically, someone means the other party hid assets. Second, there may be a dispute over a specific set of facts that influences the divorce settlement, such as how long the marriage lasted.

For more information, contact a divorce lawyer.

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Your Family Deserves a Good Lawyer You love your family. You want your kids to have what is best, and you are willing to fight for them to the very end. Thankfully, there are professionals out there who are able to support you and do the same. They're called family lawyers. Although they typically handle a lot of divorce cases, you can call upon them for other family-related legal needs, too. They oversee adoptions, draft custody agreements, and so much more. We hope you will read the articles on this blog, which delve deeper into these topics. You'll emerge knowing more about hiring such an attorney.



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