What Happens Between Filing For Divorce And The Trial?

What Happens Between Filing For Divorce And The Trial?

by Dec 19, 2018Divorce

There is often a significant period of time between when a spouse files for divorce, and when the actual divorce trial occurs, assuming that there is one. The absolute minimum amount of time between filing and trial will be six months, due to the state of California’s waiting period requirement. So what happens between the original filing and the trial?

Pre-Trial Motions

A motion is a legal term that means to submit a written request to the court to obtain an order, ruling, or direction. Motions can be made either before or after a trial.

Many divorce cases involve issues that require at least a temporary resolution between the time the divorce is filed and the trial is held. Pre-trial motions are usually made to obtain the security of a court order that will govern some aspect of the spouse’s relations until the trial actually occurs. This is most common when there is a disagreement between spouses about some or all divorce-related issues.

Depending on the circumstances, one or more the following issues may require a pre-trial motion from either spouse before their trial:

1) Money

Determining how much one spouse should be required to pay the other for child and/or spousal support before a final decision is made at trial.

2) Custody

How much time should children spend with each parent? Where will they live? Where will they go to school?

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3) Possessions

Deciding who will occupy the family home, who has control of vehicles, and how to divide money generated by the sale of any family assets before the trial takes place.

4) Protection Orders

If there are issues or concerns regarding domestic violence, there may be an order restricting communications or an actual temporary restraining order may be issued.

5) Enforcement

If a spouse does not comply with a court order regarding a particular issue, the other spouse can file a motion to determine if the offending spouse should be punished.

Getting A Ruling

Pre-trial motions are handled by a judge at a hearing. Hearings typically occur on a weekly basis, and spouses (or their attorneys) will be expected to explain to the court why a particular motion is necessary or should be opposed.

After the judge has ruled, the court will either prepare an order reflecting the decision that has been made, or require the spouse who filed the motion to prepare an order for the judge to sign, which makes it legally enforceable.

Always Work With An Attorney, If Possible

While the information above could be used by an individual to help them navigate the divorce process without the aid of an attorney, it is strongly recommended that anyone going through a contested divorce hire an attorney to handle these matters on their behalf.

The legal process of divorce is often complicated, especially when spouses disagree on core issues and require a trial to resolve them.

At Vonder Haar Law, we work closely with our clients to make sure that their interests are represented and advocated for during the entire divorce process. We pride ourselves on being open and transparent with our clients about their legal options and strategy, and we make every effort to accommodate their wishes.

To learn more about the divorce process, or to get help with your own divorce proceedings, please contact us today for a free consultation.


At Vonder Haar Law Offices, we offer every client a free phone consultation to discuss their unique situation and determine how we can help. To arrange a consultation, please fill out the adjacent form or call us at: (707) 529-3200.

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