Can I Complete My Divorce Without a Trial?
Hi, I'm Mitch Reichman. I'm a State Board of Arizona Certified Specialist in Family Law and I practice at Jaburg & Wilk.
Will I Have to Appear in Court During my Divorce Proceeding?
Yes, typically you'll have to appear in court at least once. Judges in Maricopa County in divorce cases are very proactive and so they call the parties to appear in front of them early on in the case to assess what their positions are and what other services might be required to help process the case, such as appraisers or custody evaluators. That appearance is not an appearance where you have to testify, but you will typically have to appear at least once in front of the judge.
Will I Have to Testify in my Divorce Proceeding?
One of the things that we do in your case is we put orders into place so that there is predictability while your case is proceeding. Those are called temporary orders – Orders for child support, orders for spousal maintenance, who gets possession of the house, how the bills get paid. These things need to be done in an orderly way and we like to have court orders so that we are able to enforce people's obligations during the process. That would typically require a hearing of some kind and at that hearing you would have to testify. That does not necessarily mean that you'll have to testify for a long time, or that you would have to testify in a trial.
Is it Possible to Complete my Divorce Without Having a Trial?
It is possible to complete your divorce without having a trial. In fact, we prefer that our clients complete their divorces without having a trial because trial is the most unpredictable way to resolve your divorce. There are a number of different alternatives, all of which we will explore. One is mediation. Another is arbitration which is essentially hiring a private judge to make the decisions in your case. We can also ask our judge to appoint someone called a Family Law Master to essentially take the place of the judge and have hearings and make recommendations in terms of findings. So there are a lot of different ways to settle your case or resolve it without having to go to trial.
About the author: Mitchell Reichman is an Arizona State Bar Board Certified Family Law Specialist and attorney at the Phoenix law firm of Jaburg Wilk. He is an Executive Board Member for the State Bar Family Law/Divorce division and rated AV Preeminent by Martindale Hubbell. Mitchell has recently been named a "Best Lawyer in America" by Best Lawyers, "Arizona Top 10 Family Law Lawyer" by Arizona Business Magazine and a "Southwest Super Lawyer." Mitch is an experienced in representing a variety of clients with their divorces.