Going to Court for Divorce

Skilled Phoenix divorce lawyer explains whether going to court is required in order to get a divorce in Arizona. 

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Oftentimes people that come to us for representation in family law are absolutely terrified of going to court.  They’ve never been there.  They don’t like going to jury duty.  They’ve never had a traffic ticket.  Now all of a sudden, this big issue comes up in their lives and their main concern is less with the divorce; it’s more, am I going to have to go to court and stand in front of this judge and jury, this guy with this black robe on and these weird people in court arguing and yelling at each other.

I tell them when someone asks me am I going to have to go to court, believe it or not, I say it depends.  There have been plenty of divorces that have been resolved without making a single court appearance.  Those are the divorces that are more amicable; those non-contested divorces, or things that could be resolved in mediation.  The court appearances are a whole lot less than those appearances that involve multiple petitions for contempt, evidentiary hearings, status hearings, return hearings, all of the various hearings that could be ordered by the court all the way up to trials.  Some divorces go all the way to trial.

You don’t get a jury in a divorce trial; you get a bench trial.  It’s just with the judge because of the sensitive nature of the information that is being shared.  Are you certainly going to have to go to court?  Maybe not, it depends on your divorce, how your divorce proceeds to the court.  Is there a possibility that you will have to go to court?  Absolutely, there’s a possibility, but the beauty of going to court, it’s when you represented.  You’re not representing yourself.  You go in with a skilled lawyer that does the majority of the talking for you, except in cases where you will have to testify.  The lawyer cannot testify on your behalf; you would have to speak – be sworn in and testify, should that become necessary.

Again, in less contentious divorces, or those that are less contested, the probability of that happening is a lot less.  With the highly contestable and contentious divorces, there’s a high probability that you will have to go to court; you will have to testify.  It’s a case-by-case basis.  There’s no definite yes; there’s no definite no.  It depends on your case, but having great representation is necessary either way.  Great representation can alleviate some court appearances, but it also can provide that screen of safety during those court appearances, to make sure that you’re ready when you have to make an appearance before the court.

Are you considering divorce but have questions about whether you will be required to appear in court, schedule a free consultation with our dedicated Phoenix divorce lawyers for guidance.