A Domestic Relations Timeline
Now that the hoidays are behind us, many of our clients look toward solving domestic disputes, whether that means filing for a dissolution of marriage or revisiting custody issues. Questions about the procedure and timing come up in almost every case that we deal with, so here is a quick timeline for what a domestic relations case looks like.
The first step is preparing the initial filing. To do that, we get some routine information from you and then prepare the documents. In most cases, documents must be personally served on the other party. To do that, we have a process server (or in rare cases, the Sheriff) take a copy of the filing to the other person and actually hand it to him or her. This ensures for the courts that the other person is on notice of the case or the claims. Once that service is done, the case can proceed in the courts. If this is a dissolution of marriage case, the court cannot enter a decree of dissolution (the document that formally dissolves a marriage) until at least 91 days have passed.
During the next 42 days, the parties each must compelte some financial informationand exhcange the information. Notices are filed with the court to prove the documents have been provided to the other party. The court also schedules an Initial Status Conference (ISC). The purpose of the ISC is so that the court can figure out how the case is likely to proceed.
The courts in Weld County require the parties to attend mediation if they cannot resolve the issues between themselves. The courts will not schedule the case for a final hearing without the parties completing mediation. This is a meeting with a person who is trained and has experience with helping people to resolve conflicts.
If an agreement is not reached, the court will then schedule a hearing to hear and review evidence and will make a decision about the best way to resolve the case.
As your attorneys, we will do all the scheduling and attend all the meetings and court dates with you as well as providing the forms that are required. There are usually many other dates and filings required, but this should provide you with an overview of what the process looks like.
Wishing you all the best in the new year, please remember that should you need to head back to court, we are here to help.