A divorce can be finalized through a few routes. Divorces can be executed out of court when both spouses agree on all the issues at hand. They can also work with a mediator or other neutral party to work out any remaining conflicts.

If there is significant conflict, the divorce may need to enter into litigation where you and your spouse will bring the issues to court, with or without the help of attorneys, to have a judge help you work them out.

Sometimes litigation isn’t enough and then the divorce may be brought to trial. Trials are rare in divorce, however, are more common in divorces involving minor children, complex property division or significant assets. A divorce trial can last from less than one day to several days, depending on the issues being addressed. Divorce trials can cost thousands of dollars from start to finish however they can be worth the investment if there are significant assets or your child’s welfare at stake.

The divorce trial process starts before you actually appear in court. When you decide to go to trial, you or your attorney will have to set the trial date with the court by submitting a request for trial setting. Courts do not have unlimited spaces available for divorce trials; pre-trial proceedings ensure that the trial is executed in the most efficient manner possible.

Next, you or your attorney, if you have one, will have to attend a trial setting conference, which allows the judge to evaluate your case, make sure you are ready for trial and have exchanged discovery and estimate about how long it will take. Discovery is the exchange of documentation prior to the trial process, which ensures all issues at hand can be decided based on objective facts. Discovery can include everything from bank statements to medical records; anything that is relevant to the issues at hand.

You will also have to attend a mandatory settlement conference unless your trial is expected to last less than a day. This conference allows you one last chance to settle all you can so the trial is executed as efficiently as possible.

At the trial, you or your attorney will present the issues at hand and explain your reasoning behind your requests and proposals. The opposing party will do the same. There may some in court negotiations and then the judge will issue a final ruling, also called a judgment, on your case.  All divorce trials are risky. You are largely leaving it up to a judge to resolve issues that are important and personal to you. If you are hesitant to allow your personal issues to be resolved in this way, trial may not be for you. In this case, mediation may help you resolve your issues in a more collaborative way.

Are you in the Los Angeles area and have questions about divorce trial? Certified Family Law Specialist Mark H. Karney has experience bringing divorces to trial in the Los Angeles area. Attorney Mark H. Karney and his skilled legal team can help you bring your issues to court and obtain an outcome you are happy with. Call our Los Angeles office at 310-564-5710; email us at intake@cfli.com or contact us through our online form to schedule your free consultation with one of Los Angeles’s premier family law attorneys.