A chronological guide to divorce, part 2

On behalf of Furr & Cohen, P.A. posted in Divorce on Wednesday, July 20, 2016.

The path to divorce is rarely easy and often confusing. In a prior post, we discussed the steps to divorce chronologically up to the point of litigation in court or a settlement outside of court. To continue along these lines, it is pertinent to discuss what happens in either case, whether a settlement is pursued or litigation is required.

If the couple agrees to a settlement, they show it to the judge and review it in a less formal hearing. This is where the judge will ask some fairly rudimentary questions and verifies that both parties fully understand the terms of the agreement and agree by signing, understanding that their signatures are binding. Then, if the judge signs off on the agreement, the couple is granted a divorce decree that details what their agreement entails.

In the case that the judge does not approve the settlement agreement the couple provides, the case will go to a trial. The same outcome applies to couples who ultimately cannot reach an agreement.

In the event that a case does go to trial, attorneys for both sides argue the points of contention and issues that are as yet unresolved. The judge rules on them. These can and often do include property division, visitation and custody issues. The judge will relay final decisions and the divorce is granted.

The couple or either spouse may appeal an ill-favored decision laid out by a judge. They would bring their family law appeals to a higher court. Usually, courts of appeals do not overturn the judge’s decisions regarding the divorce. Most of the time, if both spouses have agreed to the settlement, they forfeit the right to appeal it later.