Mechanics & Chronology

A domestic relations action is commenced by the filing of a summons, petition, and other documents with the court and the subsequent service of the documents on the respondent. A domestic relations action is concluded when the court enters a Final Judgment of Dissolution, Legal Separation, or Annulment. There are many events that may transpire, and a number of documents that must and may be filed, in the time period between the filing of the petition and the entry of the Final Judgment.

Once a petition is filed and served upon the opposing party, the court will begin to schedule initial hearings. The time to complete an action for DISSOLUTION or LEGAL SEPARATION depends on a number of factors. As each individual case is different, the time required to bring your matter to a conclusion depends entirely on the facts and circumstances of your case.

  • Both petitioner and respondent MUST file Declarations of Disclosure and Income and Expense Statements during the pendency of the proceedings.
  • Other documents that may be filed during the pendency of a domestic relations action include Stipulations and Waivers, Marital Settlement Agreements, Orders to Show Cause and Requests for Orders, and various motions and/or responses to the other party’s motions.
  • Motion practice and the filing and litigation of orders to show cause, together with the scope and extent of discovery that may be required, necessarily varies from matter to matter. This is because no two marital or domestic partnership estates are alike, and each domestic relations status action presents unique facts and circumstances that serve to define the parameters of what is actually needed as your matter progresses through the litigation process.