SETTLE OR PERMANENT HEARING / TRIAL After the 90 day waiting period, if agreements have been reached on all issues and the parties agree to settle, or there is still an irresolvable dispute between the parties, the documents may be filed to complete the dissolution or separation.
MANDATORY DISCLOSURES – Below is a list of Mandatory Disclosures that are due within 42 days after the service of the Petition. The mandatory disclosures include the following:
The court shall consider all factors listed above for allocation of Parenting Time but also:
The Parenting Plan should address both parenting time and decision making responsibilities and the court can either approve a submitted plan or on its own motion shall formulate a parenting plan that addresses parenting time and decision-making responsibilities. Parenting Plans should be tailored to the circumstances of each individual case and plan ahead for future, potential conflicts as well as the obvious. Some considerations and necessary components are much more detailed than the court might be able to provide at a hearing if not brought to its attention first so it is important to be thorough and detailed with all plans submitted to the opposing party or court. Some considerations might include:
It is better dealt with now, rather than later.
DISTRUBUTION The final step is where the court is required to equitably distribute the property. Equitable does not necessarily mean equal. In dividing the property, the court is instructed to set apart to each spouse his or her respective separate property and make a division of marital property, as the court deems just, after considering all relevant factors, including but not limited to:
Maintenance is ordered by the court, if ever, after dividing the property in question. The court will consider statutory standards to determine whether maintenance is necessary to provide for the reasonable needs of one of the parties. In order for a court to order maintenance, it must find three circumstances exist:
UNEMPLOYED OR UNDEREMPLOYED / POTENTIAL INCOME EARNING ABILITY Individuals are attributed their potential income or earning ability if they are unemployed or underemployed if they do not meet an exception. The rule requires a 40 hour work week and the difference to be calculated if less is worked. Some exceptions include: