The period of time after you file for divorce and before you reach a settlement or go to trial is called the pretrial phase. In Latin, this is called the pendente lite portion of your case.
This section of the California Divorce Guide covers many of the issues involved in divorce pretrial and pre-settlement. It is important to note and understand that every case is different, so your divorce may or may not require some of the steps described here.
The pretrial phase of the divorce process is a significant step towards resolving your divorce. Many of the actions taken in the pretrial phase can have a lasting impact on your final divorce judgment.
Informal and Formal Discovery Periods
At the outset of your divorce, both sides engage in what is referred to as “discovery” during the pretrial or pre-settlement phase. During the discovery process, each side gathers information about the other side and the entire divorce situation to use at trial or to reach a settlement. Learn about the difference between formal and informal discovery and how discovery findings are used in the divorce process.
A deposition involves testimony under oath recorded outside of the courtroom. They usually occur in an attorney’s office and the information gained is used throughout a divorce case. Parties deposed can be either spouse or they can be witnesses involved in the divorce. Learn how depositions are conducted and the significant impact they can have on divorce cases.
Subpoenas and Request for Production of Documents or Inspection
Subpoenas are court orders used to make parties and witnesses appear at a particular time or place. They can also be used to produce documents so that they can be inspected and used. Subpoenas also can force parties to allow for the inspection of places or things. Learn about the important role that subpoenas play in the divorce process.