Anatomy of a Case

What happens first in a typical case?


Before proceeding, it should be clear that all cases are different, and that each state’s laws are different and impact the facts of each case differently. The purpose of this discussion is informative only, so that one can see and learn about some of the procedures in each case and some of the time issues involved. Your case will almost certainly be actually different, but this section may help you to understand some of the legal procedures involved in litigation issues.

Family law issues comprise a number of legal areas, including divorce, child custody, child support, community property, separation, common law marriage, adoptions, name changes, and a number of related topics. We will analyze one of the most important areas in depth in this section - divorce cases - with the specific purpose of helping non-lawyers understand applicable legal concepts so they can be better prepared to interface with their attorney, and understand some issues present in divorce cases. In the beginning of our discussion, however, we will analyze the early stages of litigation in general terms also, since generally speaking, most cases start the same way.

There should be no question that in these cases one should consult with an attorney for a full review of the particular facts of your own case. This general discussion is not intended to be a substitute for a full-blown analysis by a qualified attorney, and you should seek the counsel of your Plan Attorney at the earliest possible juncture. We will interchange our discussion as if you are filing your case yourself or with an attorney, as sometimes it is more illustrative to describe certain procedures from a different perspective.

Also, the purpose of this section is not to analyze whether you should bring or defend a lawsuit. Our law libraries have a wealth of information to help in that area. We will assume in this section that a determination has been made that a divorce should be filed.

What happens first in a typical case?
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What happens first in a typical case?
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