Parties who settle their divorce or family law matter amicably often do not want to go to court. Not going to court is one of the bonuses of settling the case.
Going to court can cause some parties with lots of stress. Some parties not like the thought of being seen in court. They might not want to take time off work. Further, they worry that if they go to court, the matter will not resolve cooperatively.
In a collaborative divorce, the hope is that the parties will sign settlement paperwork. In a divorce with kids, for example, the parties will generally need to sign a proposed divorce judgment, marital settlement, and separation agreement, and a custody schedule — often known as a parenting plan in some jurisdictions.
In some jurisdictions, the parties will then still need to come to court once to end the case. At this court date, which is often called a non-contested hearing, both parties will testify briefly that they read and signed the settlement documents. Courts usually like to hear they have signed these documents voluntarily and that they understand that they could have gotten a different result if they let the judge decide.
Some parties are reluctant to even come to court for a non-contested hearing. The thought still makes them uncomfortable. They look for a way to avoid it.
The way to avoid it in many jurisdictions is to have the parties both sign an affidavit. The affidavit often contains the same questions that a party would be asked to testify to if they went to court in a non-contested hearing. They sign this affidavit in front of a notary public outside of court. It is then presented to the family court judge.
In many jurisdictions, affidavits like this can result in the parties avoiding having to go to court ever to conclude their divorce or family law matter. Some judges, however, might still want the parties to come to court. This could be the case where there are kids or substantial assets. But, in many cases, affidavits can negate the need for a court appearance.
If you are going through a divorce where you are looking to avoid going to court, Stange Law Firm, PC may be able to help. You can contact us at 855-805-0595.