Common Questions Asked in Divorce Court
Divorce may be one of the most stressful experiences of your life. If you are headed into divorce litigation, it is good to know what you can expect from the experience. Appearing before a judge can be daunting, but if you have reliable legal representation and have some idea of how the proceedings will unfold, you can approach this situation with more confidence. At the Johnson Law Group, we want to provide our clients and prospective clients with as much information and useful tips as possible. Consider the following examples of questions you can expect a judge to ask you in divorce court and consult with your attorney to best prepare to answer them.
Basic Questions Regarding Your Divorce Case
Divorce litigation includes a large amount of formality, and the first questions the judge asks will revolve around the basic information regarding your divorce:
- “What is your name and the name of your spouse?”
- “How long have you resided at your current address?”
- “How long have you and your spouse been married?”
- “Where and when did you and your spouse marry?”
More Specific Questions
These basic questions exist to form a complete court record of the divorce. Next, the judge will move onto more specific questions regarding your divorce case:
- “Why are you and your spouse divorcing?” Colorado does not require you to cite a specific reason for your divorce, nor must you identify a particular fault that caused you to file for divorce. In Colorado, it is acceptable to file for divorce for irreconcilable differences, which means that your marriage is irretrievably broken, and neither you nor your spouse has any desire or intention of attempting to repair it.
- “Do you and your spouse have any biological or adopted children?” Colorado state law requires a family court judge to rule in favor of preserving the best interests of any children of a divorcing couple. The judge will ask this question and follow-up questions regarding your children to help them decide custody and support for your kids.
- “Have you submitted a complete and accurate financial disclosure statement?” Property division is one of the most critical parts of any divorce case. The judge will ask you this so that you must answer, under oath, that you have provided the court with complete and accurate financial information for property division.
Questions Regarding Preexisting Agreements and Related Settlements
If you and your spouse have completed alternative dispute resolution of any kind, your courtroom appearance may essentially be a formality for finalizing your divorce. If you signed a separation agreement or mediated divorce agreement with your spouse, the judge would want to review this with you by asking further questions:
- “Is this your signature on the settlement agreement?” The judge will ask this, so you must verify under oath that you have agreed to the terms of your settlement agreement.
- “Is there any issue in your settlement agreement that requires legal review from this court?” Some divorcing couples can mediate some, but not all, of the factors of their divorces. If any lingering issues remain from your settlement negotiations, the judge will ask this question to initiate further proceedings to resolve those issues.
- “Do you agree that your settled agreement for the division of your marital assets is fair?” If you and your spouse have negotiated property division, this question is a formality that ensures the court does not need to conduct further legal review concerning your property division agreement.
- “Do you agree to the terms of your custody and support agreement?” Divorcing parents can create parenting plan proposals in alternative dispute resolution that will require review and approval from a family court judge. The judge will ask you and your spouse this question before they conduct the review process, so they know that both of you find the current terms agreeable.
These are just a few examples of the questions a family court judge may ask during your divorce trial. In an uncontested divorce, the judge’s questions are mostly a formality and create the public record of your divorce. In a contested divorce, these questions aim to verify any settlements you and your spouse have already negotiated and to lay the groundwork for the proceedings to follow.
If you wonder what questions they ask in divorce court and are concerned about what to expect, your best resource for advice is an experienced divorce attorney. The team at the Johnson Law Group can evaluate your divorce case and help you determine what to expect from the judge overseeing your case. If you are ready to start preparing for your divorce proceedings, contact us today and schedule a case evaluation with our team.