What to Expect During Divorce Proceedings

You and your spouse have determined that breaking up is your best option. You have differences that you simply can’t reconcile, and you’re ready to move on with your own life. 

What now?

The reality is, embarking on the divorce process can be intimidating, especially if you and your future ex-spouse have a large number of assets to divide between yourselves. Divorce can also be tricky if you share children with your spouse, as you will have to address matters such as child custody and visitation, as well as child support. However, knowing what to expect in a divorce can help you to confidently navigate this process from start to finish.

For instance, what questions can you expect to face in a divorce deposition? And what can you expect to go through in a divorce mediation?

Here’s a look at what to expect in a divorce proceeding.

What Will Happen at the Preliminary Divorce Hearing?

If you’re wondering what to expect in a divorce, note that going through a preliminary hearing is a critical first step. This is the initial meeting that takes place after you or the other party has filed for divorce. 

During this hearing, the family law judge will find out whether you and the other party can come to an agreement on specific aspects of your divorce. For instance, can you find common ground on the division of the assets acquired during your marriage?

If you and your future ex can reach an agreement amicably, your judge won’t have to make all of the divorce decisions for you. Still, this preliminary hearing isn’t a trial, so any decisions you make at this time won’t be final. Your decisions will be finalized only once your divorce case has been closed.

Note that if you have an attorney representing you at the preliminary hearing, you will not be required to speak at the hearing.

What Will Happen at the Divorce Hearing?

As you explore what to expect in a divorce, note that the divorce hearing is another essential part of the divorce process. That’s because during this process, you can receive temporary orders from the course to stabilize your and the other party’s situation until you have finalized your divorce. In other words, the hearing will help to tide you and your future ex over until a judge has issued a final divorce decision.

Issues that the family law court will decide following your hearing include temporary visitation and child custody, alimony, and child support. The judge will also determine which party will need to cover insurance costs, as well as what coverage needs to be maintained. 

In addition, the court will decide matters pertaining to home ownership. Who will be responsible for the mortgage payments as well as necessary home repairs? Furthermore, if you believe that the other party neglects or endangers your children, you can petition the court for an interim custody ruling that will give you sole custody of the children. Then, the other spouse may receive supervised or limited visitation until you finalize your divorce.

What Questions to Expect in a Divorce Deposition

The divorce deposition is the process where your attorney will take your future ex’s testimony, and your future ex’s attorney will take your testimony. The purpose of this process, which takes place outside of the courtroom, is to help you to get valuable information for building your case. With this information, you increase your chances of receiving what you desire in the areas of property division and child custody, for example.

When it comes to what to expect in a divorce, here’s what questions to expect in a divorce deposition:

  • What is your current income or potential income sources, and what investments and other property do you own?
  • Do you use illegal drugs or drink alcohol excessively?
  • Do you have a physical or mental condition, and do you have a disability or life insurance?
  • What are your work hours, and where will your children be while you are working?
  • What are your children’s needs and interests?
A couple mediating their relationship issues over coffee

What to Expect in a Divorce Mediation versus Divorce Trial

As you examine what to expect in a divorce, note that you could resolve your divorce matters through either mediation or trial.

So, what are couples to expect in a divorce mediation? During mediation, you and the other party can try to work out your divorce issues with the help of a third party who will facilitate communication between the two of you. Then, once you reach an agreement on these areas, you can draft a written settlement agreement and submit it to the court for a judge’s approval.

If you cannot arrive at a settlement agreement through mediation, you will have to go to trial. Regarding what to expect in a divorce trial, you and the other party will provide testimony, arguments, and evidence regarding the divorce outcomes you desire. The judge will then apply the state’s divorce laws to these and issue an order finalizing your divorce. If you and the other party don’t appeal, this order will become final.

Learn More About What to Expect in a Divorce, and Receive the Legal Guidance You Need

As you navigate the divorce process, it’s critical that you consult an attorney as soon as possible. I, attorney Michael C. Michael, can explain to you what to expect in a divorce given your unique situation. Then, I will help you through each stage of the process.

For instance, I will show you what questions to expect in a divorce deposition, and what to expect in a divorce mediation based on the circumstances surrounding your divorce. I’ll also let you know whether divorce trial is a likely option in your case and the best way to litigate your divorce.

When I work with you, you can rest assured that I will put your needs first. In my practice, I care about you, the client, versus the bottom line.

Get in touch with me today to learn more about what to expect in a divorce, as well as how I can help you to pursue the most personally favorable divorce outcome possible.

About Michael MacNeil

Michael C. MacNeil is a San Diego Family Law and Criminal Defense attorney. With a Juris Doctor degree from the University of San Diego School of Law, MacNeil has a solid understanding of our justice system. As a member of the State Bar of California, MacNeal can practice before all courts in the state. MacNeil believes that the law should be accessible to everyone, regardless of their financial status. With over 20 years of experience, Michael C. MacNeil is passionate about the law and will work tirelessly to get the best possible outcome for you. Call Mr. MacNeil at 858-922-7098.