What if we have an agreement?
If you and your spouse have agreed on all the issues and at least 60 days have passed from the date of service, you can let the Judge know you have an agreement and finalize your divorce that day. This is called an uncontested hearing.
At the hearing, the Judge will ask the Plaintiff to answer a few simple questions, such as:
- When and where were you married?
- What is your spouse's/partner's name?
- Has your marriage been "irretrievably broken?" (You have tried but cannot "save" the marriage.)
- Can you explain the terms of your agreement? (The judge will have a copy and may read it off to you, asking both of you if it accurately states your agreement.)
- Do you want the court to issue a final judgment based on your agreement? (The court wants to make sure that you willingly agree - that are not being forced, threatened, or coerced.)
After this very short hearing, the Court may sign the Divorce Judgment. The clerk may give you a copy that day, or you may receive it in the mail a few days later. The Order takes effect when the clerk enters it on the "court docket," usually the same day as the Judge signs it.
What if we don’t have an agreement?
If you have not agreed on all issues, another step you could take is mediation. If you don’t ask for mediation, the court will set you up for a pre-trial and contested hearing. Learn more about your mediation options below.
Note: If you need an interim hearing to resolve emergency issues, the judge will schedule that next. If you have exhausted your Meditation options, or have decided not to ask for mediation then the Judge may, at this first court meeting, go ahead with the “Pre-trial” step