If you’ve never been divorced before, you probably don’t know what to expect during the divorce process. Even if you have been divorced before, you still probably don’t know. You are understandably caught up in the emotion and the stress that accompanies divorce. That clouds your judgment and understanding. Plus, you don’t know how long it takes or the procedures that must be followed to make the divorce official and final.
I once met with a potential client who thought that at the first court hearing (called an Initial Case Management Conference, or ICMC) both sides simply tell the Judge their version of the facts, provide the Judge with whatever documents that they thought were necessary or relevant, and the Judge would respond with the result. This would all take about half an hour, and the divorce would then be over. Why would she need a lawyer?
This is NOT how divorce works. If you have contested issues, you need to understand that this takes time. It will not happen overnight. At the ICMC, if custody and parenting time are unresolved issues, the likely next step will be to participate in a Social Early Neutral Evaluation (SENE) (a hybrid between a mediation and evaluation designed to help people resolve their custody and parenting time disputes, but that’s a topic for another blog). It could be a few to several weeks before the SENE session is even scheduled. There will be periods of perceived inactivity. This is not because your lawyer has forgotten about you, or is not interested in “fighting” for you. Rather, it’s just a reflection of the reality that this takes time.
So, if you have questions, or have issues that need immediate attention, let your lawyer know. He will let you know what can be done about it. But sometimes the answer is that there really isn’t much to do until the next court date or mediation session. Have patience. And don’t expect that a years-long marriage will become dissolved the day after you hire your lawyer.
Contact Beyer & Simonson
If you are facing divorce and any of the divorce-related issues such as spousal maintenance, child support, child custody, property division, or domestic abuse matters, you need our experienced Minneapolis divorce attorneys to help you. Contact Beyer & Simonson in Edina, Minnesota today at (952) 303-6007.