A typical divorce will involve going to court only two or three times, and the first time is generally for the preliminary hearing. If this is your first divorce, you may not understand what this hearing is for, though. If this is the case, here are several things you should know that will help you eliminate your confusion and prepare for this date.
The Purpose of the Hearing
A preliminary divorce hearing has one essential purpose. The purpose is to create a temporary arrangement with a divorcing couple to guide each spouse during their separation period. It instructs them each about their responsibilities, guidelines, and roles in the divorce. It is not a permanent order. It is only temporary, and that is why lawyers often call this court hearing a provisional meeting.
The Timing of the Hearing
Because this court appearance provides a way for couples to have an agreement to use during a separation, the hearing generally takes place within just a few weeks of filing. After one spouse files, the court will set up a date for this hearing to occur. You should expect it within the next three weeks.
The Ways You Prepare for It
Before the hearing occurs, you will need to meet with your divorce attorney to discuss your plans, desires, and needs for the temporary agreement you create. Your lawyer's main goal is to ensure that you have a fair temporary arrangement with your spouse. This arrangement will take effect once the judge approves it and will last until your final divorce court date.
Therefore, you should discuss the following things with your lawyer:
- The housing arrangement
- Your children
- Financial details
These are the top three things you will need to plan for before this date.
The Impact It Has
When you attend this date, the lawyers will present their requests to the judge. They may bicker back and forth a little bit, but the judge has the final word. When the judge approves the agreement, you are both required to follow it until further notice. The agreement becomes a court order, and failing to follow it may lead to consequences.
When you file your divorce papers, your attorney will discuss this hearing with you. He or she can explain when it will happen and why it happens. Your attorney will also help you prepare for it. To begin the process or to learn more, call a divorce law firm today.