Maryland Family Law provided by Mulinazzi Law Offices

A Divorce Timeline: The Steps to Getting Divorced

Timeline of casesWhen divorcing, it’s difficult to know what to expect.  Divorce is a complicated process that can be full of frustrating delays and unpleasant surprises.  An idea of what is going to happen when can make an uncomfortable time a little more predictable.  Every divorce is different depending on your situation and also where you choose to get divorced, but the following timeline is a general overview of what steps will happen when.

1.     To start the Divorce process, either you or your spouse obtains a lawyer who writes and files a Petition with the court also known as a Complaint for Divorce.  This is a legal document that states why the spouse wants to divorce and how the spouse wants to resolve financial, custody, child support, and other issues.

Pendente Lite Hearing

Pendente lite hearingPendente Lite Hearings provide temporary court-ordered relief to preserve the status quo and “settle the waters” until the final trial.

The time immediately following a separation can be very chaotic for many reasons.  The emotional and financial trauma of separation is compounded by the fact that there are no rules or guidelines to direct both sides on what to do.  Not surprisingly the newly separated husband and wife cannot agree on anything and may be very angry at one another.  As a result each side may follow his or her emotions and matters can be become much worse.  While it is always advisable for the parties to reach a settlement, even if it is only temporary, when no temporary settlement is reached the Court will schedule a pendente lite hearing.

A pendente lite hearing is scheduling at the Court’s Scheduling Conference so you will not know the exact date of the pendente lite hearing until then.