When a case cannot be resolved out of court through negotiation, mediation, or collaborative law, it must be litigated. The steps in the process of litigating your case include: Conducting discovery, which is the process of exchanging information and documents with the other party; Identifying and evaluating assets and debts; Conducting any pre-trial hearings necessary to settle intermediate issues before the judge; Attending mediation to seek a mutually agreeable settlement of some or all of the issues in the case; Conducting depositions, in which the attorneys ask the parties and other witnesses a series of questions under oath about facts and events related to the case that can be used by the attorneys at trial. Sometimes it is necessary to conduct a custody evaluation by a psychological professional when there are serious questions related to the parenting of the parties’ children. The evaluator will often meet with the child(ren), parents, and any other essential parties to understand some the essential dynamics within the family and issue a report that can be used in trial to persuade the court to rule in a particular way.
Once each of those steps has been completed and the case has not yet settled, the case will be set for trial before the judge. Depending on the complexity of the issues in the case, the trial can take between one day and several days to complete. After all arguments and evidence have been presented, the judge will either make a ruling immediately or take the case under advisement and issue a ruling within a few days to a few weeks.
Sobieski, Messer & Elledge will help you navigate the court system expeditiously and efficiently and will aggressively represent you both in the courtroom and at every step along the way there.