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What to Expect in a Divorce Pretrial Hearing

What to Expect in a Divorce Pretrial Hearing

13 / October 2021

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What to Expect in a Divorce Pretrial Hearing

Once the divorce process has started, the two sides can resolve their legal issues in a number of ways. They can reach an agreement on their own, undergo mediation and negotiations to reach a settlement agreement, or go to trial during which a judge will resolve all legal disputes. Before going to trial, you will have to attend a pretrial hearing, and it is important to properly prepare for it.

When Will a Pretrial Hearing be Scheduled?

Generally speaking, pretrial hearings are one of the last steps in any divorce case, but it will happen prior to the trial. Whether your pretrial hearing occurs several weeks or many months before your divorce trial will depend on the judge’s schedule, as well as the complexity of your case. During the pretrial hearing, the judge will review the facts of the case to determine which issues the trial will resolve. In some instances, the court may also require you to attend a final settlement conference before setting a trial date.

What to Expect During the Pretrial Hearing

A pretrial hearing will likely occur once the discovery phase of your case is over. During the hearing, your family law attorney will state what legal issues are still left unresolved in your case. After the judge has heard the number of issues left to resolve, they will then determine approximately how long the trial will take.

You have likely already prepared quite extensively for your divorce case by the time you have to attend a pretrial hearing. The judge may also require you and your spouse to submit certain disclosures and if that is the case, this will be discussed during your pretrial hearing. A disclosure may include the witnesses you plan to use during the trial, and any other evidence you intend to use.

Are You Required to Attend the Pretrial Conference?

Whether or not you have to attend your pretrial hearing will depend on where you live, as different counties have different rules. You may have to attend yourself, or your attorney may be able to attend on your behalf. There are times when family law judges prefer to meet with just the attorneys for each side, and this can happen even if you are present. The judge may ask the lawyers to meet in their chambers to discuss certain aspects of the case. This is largely to keep certain information private, as conversations in the chambers do not become part of the public record.

Our Family Lawyers in Michigan Will Guide You Through the Process

If you are going through a divorce, there are many steps you must prepare for, and the pretrial conference is just one of them. At Iafrate & Salassa, P.C., our knowledgeable Michigan family lawyers will help you prepare for all stages of your divorce case to give you the best chance of a successful outcome. Call us today or contact us online to schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys and to learn more about how we can help.

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