What Happens When a Divorce Goes to Trial?

Divorce accounts for a large number of civil cases. Like other civil cases in Florida, divorces begin when one or both spouses determine that they cannot solve marital problems without a court’s intervention. Couples typically agree to a settlement without having a trial, but if you consider pursuing divorce, you may benefit from understanding what happens during the process. 

The Florida statutes define the state’s procedures for divorce trials. 

Couples provide evidence and witnesses in divorce trials 

As is the case with other trials, during a divorce each spouse presents evidence and call witnesses. The couple uses these to support claims about aspects of divorce such as asset division, spousal support, or child custody. 

Divorce trials typically draw out the process 

No one can predict how long a divorce trial will last, but it prolongs the process and may cost significantly more than a divorce that ends in a negotiated settlement. After both parties present their evidence and call their witnesses, the judge will consider it and render a decision. If one of the spouses does not comply with the court’s decision, he or she may face legal consequences. 

Divorce trials are often unnecessary 

Divorces may be common, but divorce trials are not. Even in contentious divorce cases, many spouses are able to agree to a settlement without the need for a trial. Settling a divorce usually takes less time and is less expensive and stressful than allowing the divorce to proceed to a trial. A judge may even issue an order that you and your spouse undergo mediation to work out your differences and come to an agreement outside of court. 

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