Getting a divorce can be a relatively simple or complex matter. It can take a little or a lot of time. Every case is different. It almost always involves intense emotions and the danger of financial insecurity and, if children are involved, losing some amount of relationship with children. Divorce usually involves the need to separate as cleanly as possible from a no-longer functional relationship, while setting up the client for moving forward in life.
Mark can fill different roles for clients in the divorce process. He can represent people fully, he can just appear for one or two hearings, and when the client wants to represent themselves in court he can provide advice, help develop a game plan, and help draft paperwork as necessary. Which role will work best for the client is often discussed in an initial meeting.
The divorce process typically involves several steps. Some cases will go through all of the steps, and other cases may only need a few of the steps. If no one has filed anything in court, the first, and best, step is to talk with a lawyer about your rights and options. For people who are preparing to file or defend a divorce, and for people who want to work on saving their marriage, preparation can be an important step to maximize goals and minimizing costs.
Many cases require an initial hearing to obtain Temporary Orders, such as a temporary parenting plan, child support, spousal support, and protection of assets and from incurring additional debt. The initial hearing is usually extremely important. If a client has limited funds, it is often best to utilize them for the initial hearing.
In Clallam County, most cases are resolved at the mandatory settlement conference, which is held a few months after the case begins. 96% of all civil cases settle before trial.
Divorce and custody cases can take anywhere from a few weeks to 1-2 years to complete, depending on circumstances and needs of the case.