Divorce Trial in North Carolina
The divorce trial refers to the presenting of evidence to the court by both sides, on the basis of which, the judge would make a decision on contested issues. It could also refer to the formal presenting of the divorce case to the court by the plaintiff (in case of an uncontested divorce) prior to obtaining the divorce judgment.
Issues Considered in a Divorce Trial
If the spouses have been unable to reach a consensus on various issues like child custody and support, spousal support and property distribution, these issues go to trial. It is not easy to get a trial date as the court’s calendar may be busy and there might be a waiting period of 5-6 months or in some counties even a year. This period is utilized by both plaintiff and defendant attorneys to prepare for the divorce trial.
The Process of the Divorce Trial in a Contested Divorce
The plaintiff presents the case first and calls on witnesses. These witnesses are cross-examined by the opposing counsel. The process is then reversed, with the defendant calling on their witnesses who are then cross-examined by the plaintiff attorney. The length of the divorce trial depends on the complexity of the case, the number of unresolved issues and the number of witnesses called by each side. At the end of the divorce trial, the judge will announce the judgment on various issues as well pronounce the order of divorce. This may not happen immediately after the divorce trial, but may take some time.
Divorce Trial in Uncontested Divorce
North Carolina being a no-fault divorce state, if the divorce is uncontested, the divorce trial is fairly quick. The plaintiff’s attorney can put the case on for a motion for summary judgment. Neither the plaintiff nor the defendant’s presence is mandatory.
We at McIlveen Family Law Firm have considerable experience in representing clients during divorce trials. We undertake the most comprehensive trial preparations to increase chances of favorable judgment. We also help our clients prepare mentally by preparing them for questions they may have to face from the opposing counsel. We endeavor to minimize the stress levels of our clients during the divorce trial.