By: Breanna Latt
In this series, the Andersen Law PC blog is spelling out the 12 steps of divorce one step at a time. The intent is to walk you through the process one simple step at a time. This month, we cover Step 7 of Divorce: Motions to Compel and Telephone Conferences.
(To see the process in a more personalized, real world context, follow the blogs on the Aingel and DeVille families: the Aingels relatively soaring through the process while the DeVilles crash and burn.)
To discuss your specific situation, feel free to call us at 720-922-3880 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. We are happy to walk you through your own next steps and to answer questions in your complimentary initial phone or videoconference consult.
Here is where the next several months will take us:
1 – serving and filing a petition for dissolution
2 – responding to the petition
3 – sworn financial statement, disclosures, and parenting classes
6 – professionals: CFI, PRE, vocational evaluator, appraisals
7 – motions to compel and telephone conferences
8 – temporary orders
9 – mediation
10 – parenting plans and separation agreements
11 – witnesses, pretrial deadlines and permanent orders
12 – QDROs and other post decree issues
12 STEPS OF DIVORCE: Step 7 – Motions to Compel and Telephone Conferences
At this point in your divorce proceedings, a judge may file a Motion to Compel if you or the other party refused to turn over necessary documents — specifically those requested during discovery. It could also mean that more disclosures and other information is necessary to make responses from discovery more complete. If you and the other party willingly provided all requested documents, you should not need to worry about a Motion to Compel.
When attorneys are involved, there is a duty to confer before filing such a motion. This means that you must identify emerging issues and attempt to resolve these disputes via a phone conference. Courts prefer that the involved parties and their attorneys come to agreements about discovery disputes without involving them. This can help you to save time and money on motion practices, briefs and court appearances.
A motion recites the law and states the facts that will be proven at the hearing in order to request the court to do something. The other party will then be required to file a response to the motion, the person making the motion will file a reply, and then the parties may end up in court for a hearing. During the hearing, they will take the stand and put in evidence to support their own motion and response.
Lastly, a party may be subject to sanctions for obstructing discovery via withholding required information. These punishments may include paying the other person’s attorney fees, being denied the ability to offer evidence and hearing and occasionally, in the case of contempt, the risk of a fine or jail sentence. Given the severity of the repercussions, it is important to provide all requested documentation.
For a free consult on your divorce case, contact Andersen Law PC at 720-922-3880. You can also check out our related blog posts, Facebook page and YouTube videos, and sign up for our monthly newsletter. All of these are chock full of information that can help you navigate divorce and other family law issues.