Divorce and Family Law

Divorce and Family Law | Patricia P. Davis, Attorney at LawDivorce is a tragic situation. Parties should not explore divorce until every attempt has been made to salvage the marriage. You should try marriage counseling or counseling with your pastor. You should consider the effect on your children. Ask yourself whether your children would be better off with an in-tact family or two separate households. However, if there is any physical abuse, then you strongly need to consider separation.

I offer a free initial divorce consultation. I only meet with one spouse or the other. The vast majority of divorce cases are settled prior to trial. You and your spouse are much better off making decisions for your family, rather than having a judge make decisions for you. I will listen to your situation. If I feel that I cannot help you, I will let you know.

A divorce case starts with filing a Complaint. You need grounds for filing a divorce. The most common grounds are irreconcilable differences. I file the Complaint and receive a docket number. Afterwards, the Summons and Complaint are served on the other spouse. The documents can be served by a Sheriff’s officer, a private process server or by mail, if the other spouse signs and notarizes an Acknowledgment of Service. Once service is properly executed, then the other spouse has 35 days to respond. If he or she fails to timely respond, then we can proceed by default judgment. Many friendly divorces proceed by a default judgment. I cannot take a default judgment against an active duty service member. An active duty service member must hire an attorney or actively participate in the divorce. A friendly divorce will take about 3-6 months. A contested divorce will take about one year. The Plaintiff (the party who initiated the divorce) must appear with me in Court before the judge.

hotel, travel, relationships, and sexual problems concept - upseIn addition to divorces, sometimes it is necessary to file Motions. A “Motion” is a procedure for getting a decision from a judge without the need of a trial.

Sometimes, parties are not married, but they need a Court Order for custody, support or insurance. This involves filing an “FD” matter which is typically heard before a Hearing Officer.

I can also assist with the preparation and filing of Consent Orders and Qualified Domestic Relations Orders for the distribution of retirement assets.

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