A trial is potentially the last and final phase in your divorce in cases where the parties have not been able to negotiate or otherwise resolve their disputes. In Florida, in almost every case, a judge or a general magistrate—not a jury—will hear your divorce case.
Before the trial. The first step is to set the trial on the judge’s calendar. Due to the court’s large volume of cases, it may take several months for an initial trial date.
To prepare for your testimony, your attorney will go over questions that he or she will ask you, and anticipated questions you might be asked by the other side.
Here are some additional steps that may occur before the trial:
- Your attorney will have you review pleadings, documents and testimony filed in your case.
- Your attorney may file motions to secure additional discovery or obtain rulings from the court on certain issues.
- Your attorney will ensure that witnesses are properly subpoenaed and prepared for trial.
During the trial. Generally, the attorneys or litigants will give opening statements to explain to the judge what they will prove at trial and what they will be asking the judge to order. Both parties then will have the opportunity to present their cases by calling witnesses, including expert witnesses, and introducing evidence. Your attorney may plan for you, your children (infrequently), family members, friends and teachers to testify in your case. Typically, the trial ends with closing arguments by each side.
The judge’s ruling will be put into a final judgment, or written order, which will be your “divorce papers.” Keep in mind that you are not divorced until the judge signs the final judgment.
A trial can be a time consuming and intimidating process, but your attorney will prepare you and will guide you through the process. The attorneys at Nicole L. Goetz, P.L. are experienced with all facets of the divorce process including going to trial. To schedule a confidential consultation and receive more information about your options, please contact our office in Naples, Florida at 239-325-5030.