Many attorneys don’t want you to completely understand the divorce process. Clients are told the process is “complex” and/or “complicated.” That is because the less you know, the more complex it seems and the more other attorneys can charge you. After all, clients don’t generally understand the process or know what to expect. At Enderton & Mathews, LLC, we pride ourselves on the fact that we provide legal services through an open and honest platform. As you understand the process, the process becomes less and less complicated. In a nutshell, every contested divorce should proceed as follows:
A complaint for divorce is filed by the Petitioner and the other party, referred to as the Respondent, is served with a summons and complaint. The Respondent generally has twenty (20) days to answer the complaint. Most answers include a counter-claim and the Petitioner has 20 days to respond to the counter-claim. Of course, no attorney can file a complaint or file a valid answer without meeting with you and discussing your personal situation. At Enderton & Mathews, LLC, we will sit down with you and discuss your situation and will address the issues that matter to you.
Getting temporary orders in place early in the process can help resolve conflict during the divorce process, particularly with regards to children. Temporary orders will lay out who has custody of the children, a parent-time schedule, and what the child support amount is. Temporary orders can also settle issues such as who will remain in the marital home during the divorce proceedings. Sometimes it is necessary to obtain temporary orders when one of the parties simply won’t work with the other party.
The attorneys are then required to conduct an attorneys planning meeting. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss the issues and formulate a discovery plan. This meeting can be held by telephone.
In an effort to reduce discovery costs, the code requires that each party provide initial disclosures. Those disclosures are due shortly after the answer is filed. Our office will work with you in order to prepare the initial disclosure. You may need to provide documents that are required to be provided to the opposing party.
Discovery is where either party may serve Interrogatories , Request for Production of Documents, and Requests for Admission. Interrogatories are simply written questions that the opposing party has to answer under penalty of perjury.
The initial steps in a divorce case are critical to establish a strong foundation for your case. An attorney that takes the time and effort to complete the step outlined above will have a significant advantage in seeking a settlement or going to trial. Most attorneys don’t follow-through with these critical steps. At Enderton & Mathews, LLC, we understand that a good foundation allows for our clients to proceed from a position of strength. At this point, the divorce could be concluded in a number of ways. First, the parties could agree to settle. Second, the parties could enter into mediation. If neither of those options work, the parties get ready for trial. The foundation that was laid in the beginning of the case helps every future step along the way and generally facilitates the best outcome for our clients.
The Court will generally order that the parties attempt to mediate in the hope that the terms of a divorce can be reached by the parties. Mediation is usually held after the parties have gone through the time and expense to conduct discovery. Sometimes, mediation can be done after abbreviated discovery and in rare case without any discovery at all.
The last step in the process is the trial. Most cases never get as far as a trial. In some cases, your spouse will not agree to anything and a Judge will have to make the final determination. Enderton & Mathews will be well prepared and ready to protect your rights.
Enderton & Mathews, LLC serves clients throughout Northern Utah, including but not limited to; Salt Lake City, Provo, Spanish Fork, Park City, Layton, Ogden, and Logan.