Couples who are requesting a divorce have several options in regards to the legal proceedings. Depending on the willingness of each spouse, couples can choose to resolve their issues independently, or with the help of a judge during a divorce trial. Regardless of the type of divorce and the parties involved in the proceedings, a pretrial hearing must occur before a trial can be held. At Robbins & Licavoli, we’re dedicated to helping you understand what to expect in your pretrial hearing and supporting you during the process.
A pretrial hearing is not only an opportunity for the couple to meet the judge who oversees their trial, but it allows the judge to gather vital information about the divorce proceedings. During this hearing, the judge will determine what progress has been made in resolving issues within the marriage and what issues should be addressed in the trial. For example, if a couple can’t agree upon who should be entitled to their furniture, the judge will be notified to bring this issue up in trial.
Depending on where you reside, your attendance at a pretrial hearing may not be required. If you are filing for a divorce in Michigan, both spouses must be in attendance at the hearing, along with their attorneys. Spouses should expect the hearing to be farther along in their divorce case, dependent on the judge’s schedule.
The hearing will take place after the discovery phase of the divorce. The discovery phase is also considered pre-trial and it occurs when each side gathers information and evidence from each spouse in order to ensure that each side has the same information. This is beneficial to the pretrial hearing because it shows that each spouse is knowledgeable about what the other might use for evidence in the event of a trial. After the judge has listened to both sides, they will determine how to proceed with the trial and provide an approximate length of trial time dependent on the issues discussed. However, if the issues are able to be resolved at the pretrial hearing, a judge may determine that a trial is unnecessary. If the issues need to be resolved at trial, the judge will set a trial date.
In preparing for the pretrial hearing, it’s important that you notify your attorney of any questions you may have regarding the case. You’ll want to ensure that you are aware and knowledgeable about the proceedings of the divorce thus far and any unmet needs that have yet to be addressed. This will not only respect the time of all individuals at the pretrial hearing but it will make sure that you are familiar with information regarding the case. Your attorney is here to support you every step of the way, and it’s important that you openly communicate with them about any concerns or questions you have regarding the case.
If you have questions about pretrial hearings in the state of Michigan, contact us today. We look forward to hearing from you soon.