David L. Lash, Attorney




Divorce is the method used for couples who are unable to cooperatively negotiate and settle their terms of divorce.  Each party hires their own attorney.  Typically, grounds for divorce are neglect of duty and/or incompatibility.  There are other more serious grounds for divorce.  However, the court usually does not give great weight to fault when deciding a divorce settlement.

After the contested divorce is filed, there can be a temporary support hearing.  The court will then allow attorneys a period of time to “discover” each party's assets and liabilities.  The courts strongly encourage parties to make full, complete and transparent financial disclosure.  Typically there are two or three pretrial hearings conducted by the court in order to ensure that each party has made full financial disclosure and then to encourage settlement negotiations.  The courts and most attorneys strongly favor negotiated settlements.  If the parties are able to come to terms, a settlement agreement or separation agreement will be submitted to the court for approval.  At that point, the contested case is generally converted to an uncontested matter, scheduled for hearing, with procedures similar to the end result of a dissolution of marriage.  Where the parties are unable to settle, the case can ultimately go to trial.