The court ordered me to trial, so what is the next step?

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The court ordered me to trial, so what is the next step?

Post  Admin on Mon Sep 21, 2009 4:21 pm

Often when the other spouse files a Response with the Court, the judge assigned to the case will issue an Order to Appear for an Early Resolution Conferance or an Evidentiary Hearing. This is because the case is now considered contested.


When our clinet's show us these Orders to Appear oftentimes they will state that discloser and Discloser Statements must be completed within 5 days and exchanged with the other party prior to the hearing date. Also, it is not uncommon that the judge will also want a Resolution Statement, List of Witness & Ehibits, and a Certificate of Readiness to filed along with the Discloser Statement.


If children are involved, the judge will also want a Parenting Plan for Child Custody and Vistiation, and a Parent's Worksheet for Child Support Amount.


So what is a Discloser Statment?


The Discloser Statement is a statement to the other party and the judge that tells what the factual basis for each claim or defense in a case is. It also tells the court and the other party what you are seeking, either money and/or an for a specific remedy. For example alimony, child support, child custody, half the equity in the home, etc.


Furthermore, a Discloser Statement also describes in detail to the everyone envolved which legal theories apply and why. It tells everyone exactly which laws and/or case law makes your case.
For example if you are seeking child support, in your Discloser Statement you would site Ariz.Rev.Stat. 25-320. This law tells the judge that child support should be calculated as per the states guidelines. It aslo tells everyone that the non-custodial parent should pay the custodial parnent child support because this is in the best interest of the child. That the non-custodial parent not only has an obligation to pay support for their children, but a duty.
Another example, if you wanted to show the court in a modification of child support hearing that the court no longer had jurisdiction to modify support because the child and both parents no longer resided in Arizona, then you would site McHale v. McHale, Ariz. Ct. App., 1 CA-CV 04-0022. Therefore, you could then maybe move the child support case to the state where you now reside. These are just a few expamples.


Also, a Discloser Statement tells everyone which witness are going to appear to help you make your case but also which exhibits you plan to show the court. If you do not disclose this information to the other party and the court in your Discloser Statement then you will not be allowed to present this information at your hearing. Which could have very serious repercussions.

For example if you were seeking alimony or child support, you would need to provide your W-2's or tax returns to show what your income was. If you do not list these as exhibits, then you may not be able to show them as proof.


So, where do you get a Discloser Statement?


Some people think you can go to the Self-Help Center or an online publication company and get these documents. Truth be told these types of places do not have these documents because of the complexities of the issues involved, these documents must be custom prepared. I highly recommend that you have a professional prepare these documents. These are very complicated documents with complicated procedure for preparing. They also require legal research which is a skill set most people do not have. I recommend getting someone that is well versed in family law and family procedure. We have prepared hundereds of these statements for clients over the years and have helped a great many people with these.


One final note. There are serious consequeses for the failure to prepare these documents as ordered by the court. The court can sanction, fine, and or have the other party get everything they are asking for if they prepare these documents and you do not. I have even seen the court dismiss the entire case if neither party files these documents.


So, if you receive and Order to Appear please contact us or an attorney immediately. Do not blow this off or wait until the day before your hearing to worry about this.

Admin
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