Every divorce is a little different because every marriage is a little different. When couples seek a Muskogee, Okla. divorce, some hearings will be required.
Hearings are scheduled with the court clerk and provide a formal time for both sides to present arguments and evidence regarding issues that require resolution to finalize a Muskogee, Okla. divorce. Sometimes, the issues to be resolved are procedural such as setting a trial or settlement conference date. However, sometimes the issues are substantive such as resolving child custody and support.
Evidence In Muskogee, Okla. Divorce Hearings
In general, every hearing requires some preparation. If the hearing is procedural, the preparation is largely around case status. That could be simply knowing what issues have been resolved and which are outstanding or it could be mapping out the completion of discovery before trial.
If the issue is substantive, you and your Muskogee attorney will need to meet beforehand to discuss the matter.
In addition, your attorney will need to prepare the testimony and documentary evidence that the court will need in order to resolve the issue. This could mean preparing your testimony if the issue requires it. This may be the case in resolving child support issues.
Although Oklahoma uses support guidelines, other issues such as children’s special needs and the planned visitation schedule may change guideline amounts.
Temporary Order Hearings
All divorces in Oklahoma issue an automatic injunction upon filing. This injunction may not cover every matter that needs to be attended to immediately. Remember, divorce laws in Muskogee can be very complicated.
In some cases, a party may object to parts of the injunction. In either case, a hearing may be required to set up temporary orders, particularly in cases of contested matters of support for children or the other spouse.
Special Issues Involving Children
Parenting plans are required of both spouses if either spouse requests joint custody. Parenting plans cover all the logistics involving things such as living and visitation, medical and dental insurance, education plans, and child support. Once these are submitted, parents must attend a parenting plan conference.
The conference, held before a court referee, takes place in the early stages of the divorce proceedings. It can be helpful in terms of establishing temporary orders and to ensure continuing contact and support by both parents. When parents are unable to agree on a parenting plan, then the matter is set for a hearing.
Hearings In Contested Cases
In Muskogee, Okla. divorce cases where spouses are unable to resolve issues such as the division of assets, support, custody, or visitation, hearings may be used to resolve some or all of the issues involved. If the issues are complex or will take a significant amount of court time, a court is likely to set the divorce proceeding for trial.
Courts encourage couples to use mediation to resolve matters short of trial. Mediation is an informal process, somewhat like a settlement conference. A mediation takes place before a skilled family law mediator who can help the couple resolve their issues short of trial. A mediation is not a hearing, but it can avoid the time and preparation involved in a hearing.
Scheduling conferences is procedural. This hearing sets out the dates by which certain steps such as discovery, mediation, and settlement conferences are to be completed. These hearings require less advance preparation. However, once a schedule is set, the court may not want to deviate from it.
Status conferences are also procedural. These informal hearings allow a judge to ensure the parties are on track to complete the tasks required. The judge may also check to see if the parties are resolving issues and recommend mediation or a settlement conference if that would be helpful.
Pre-Trial Hearings In A Muskogee, Okla. Divorce
This too is a procedural hearing. This conference allows the judge to check on a resolution. Also, it allows the judge to see if the issues set for trial can be narrowed.
Witness lists and documentary evidence to be produced at trial will be discussed at length. This helps smooth out the trial process and avoids surprises at trial.
Hearings can be stressful. It is always better to have an attorney represent you at a hearing. Get help today.
Talk To A Muskogee Okla. Divorce Attorney Today
Divorce is difficult. Having an experienced Muskogee divorce attorney by your side can help you bypass many of the stresses of divorce and can help you and your children navigate this difficult terrain and move on with your lives.
I have the skill, knowledge, and compassion to help ensure that your rights are well protected throughout the divorce process, so please allow me to help guide your case toward its best possible resolution. Call 918-884-7774 today. I am here to help.