Can I Get Divorced Without Going to Court?

White square with a gold border and the words “Can I get divorced without going to court?” with the Freed Marcroft family law firm logo in the lower right corner.One of the questions we are most often asked by individuals thinking about a divorce is whether or not they will need to actually appear in Court. As with many family law questions, the answer is: It Depends!

Read on to learn more.

Four Categories of Divorces

There are currently four different categories of individuals moving forward with a divorce.

For individuals moving forward with a litigation approach, you may find yourself moving forward with:

Other individuals moving forward with alternative dispute resolution, such as mediation or collaborative divorce, make up the fourth category.

Watch: How to Choose Your Divorce Approach: Litigation, Collaborative, Mediation

Read: High Conflict vs. Low Conflict Divorce

Do I Have to Go to Court in a Contested Divorce?

Contested divorces require a judge to render a decision on a particular set of issues if the parties are unable to reach an agreement on their own or with the assistance of counsel after a formal hearing.  Typically, this will require an in-person appearance.

Contested Divorced During COVID-19

Under the current Covid-19 guidelines, the Court may allow participation by telephone or video conferencing if your matter will be resolved in a shorter hearing.  Currently, the court’s plan is to schedule longer duration hearings in person as soon as it is safe to do so.

Can I Divorce Without Court in an Uncontested by Agreement?

Uncontested divorces, whether reached through litigation or alternative dispute resolution, may move forward without the need for an in-person appearance.

Uncontested Divorces During COVID-19

In light of the coronavirus pandemic, the Court now allows parties to proceed “on the papers.” This means that no in-person hearing is required.  We can move you forward by preparing affidavits and other items that we submit for the Court’s review and approval.

Do I Have to Attend Court for a Divorce with a Protective Order?

Under the current Judicial Branch Covid 19 guidelines, any party with a pending Protective Order needs to appear in person in order to move forward with a dissolution. This is true whether your hearing is contested or uncontested hearings.  The Judicial Branch frequently updates its guidance here.

Read: What are the Types of Restraining Orders?

Next Steps

Unsure where your matter falls?  We are happy to assist.  Freed Marcroft’s first step, the Goals & Planning Conference is designed to get to the heart of your problem and unveil your true goals for your life.  Once we discover your goals, we take all of our collective experience in the realm of divorce to build a customized strategy for you.

Schedule your Goals & Planning Conference today, or contact us either here or by phone at 860-560-8160.

Written by Brandy Thomas