What to Expect During a Divorce Trial

What to Expect During a Divorce Trial

While the vast majority of New Jersey divorce cases settle before reaching trial, some of the most complex or contested cases manage to make it before a Superior Court judge before they can be resolved.

When a divorce case goes to trial, it isn’t on a whim. The cases that do make it to trial are those wherein the two spouses could not work out an agreement either alone or through an alternative dispute resolution method, such as mediation or arbitration. If your divorce case looks like it might be on the trial track, here’s what you should expect:

First, understand that even if you have a trial date set, there are many pre-trial steps to go, including discovery, depositions, and pre-trial conferences. Many cases are resolved during this process, some even on the day of the trial in one last pre-trial meeting. The primary takeaway here is the court wants to avoid trial if possible. Trial takes a lot of resources for both the court and the parties.

The basic structure of a trial begins with opening statements or briefs—with the plaintiff going first—followed by an examination of witnesses and discovery. Next come rebuttals wherein the parties have the chance to address an issue raised by the opposing party. Summations are next, which allows both parties to reargue their point holistically.

After your trial date(s), the judge will come to a conclusion and issue a final divorce judgment, but don’t expect instant results. This process can take a while, so be patient.

In some cases, you may be able to file an appeal after you receive the judge’s decision. Before deciding to appeal, however, you should consider the costs of such an action and the likelihood of success. Appeals can be lengthy, and many are not successful.

New Jersey divorce trials provide a sure way for contested divorces to be resolved when two spouses cannot settle their differences. But going to trial is not a decision that should be made lightly. If you have a contested divorce, talk to a New Jersey matrimonial attorney. Only an attorney can help you determine whether trial is right for you.

If you are looking for aggressive legal defense in New Jersey, the Williams Law Group, LLC can help you. Our skilled matrimonial and family law attorneys will defend your rights every step of the way. Located in Short Hills, New Jersey, Williams Law Group, LLC provides compassionate and dedicated legal services to Union, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Monmouth, and Middlesex counties, and the surrounding areas. Our knowledgeable attorneys handle divorce and family law, child custody, and child abuse/neglect cases. Call our office at (908) 810-1083, email us at info@awilliamslawgroup.com, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation and ultimately get you connected with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.


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