A trial date is a final date in your divorce where the judge will finalize your divorce case. It is set after several months of discovery and represents the final orders in your divorce. Given the permanent nature of this proceeding, many people are intimidated by the prospect of testifying and having one shot to persuade the judge to rule their way.
Prior to your divorce, you will have already gone through the discovery process in which you and your spouse exchange all of the information you need for the judge to make a decision in your case. If you are still missing documents, you should talk to your attorney about sending subpoenas or enforcing the exchange of pertinent discovery information.
By the time of your trial, the judge has probably also entered certain temporary orders for child support, maintenance and visitation, if applicable. It is important to review these orders and bring to the judge’s attention any violations of these orders such as if there is past-due maintenance or child support owed.
Finally, you should think about who you need to testify in your case. Talk to your attorney about what documents need to be admitted into evidence and what experts or lay witnesses are necessary to have evidence admitted. If you wait too long to think about this, it may be too late as some counties require a certain amount of notice prior to your trial date.
The husband and wife will also testify in their case. It is important to be honest and to prepare for your testimony with your attorney so you know what to expect and not be surprised at trial. It is also important to know what evidence/testimony your soon-to-be ex will introduce so that you are prepared to rebut that information.
Once your case is set for trial, talk to your attorney about the legal strategy to help you succeed at trial. Early preparation and good communication will go a long way to ease the nerves on that final divorce day.