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The technical process in dissolution of marriage is the service of a Summons and Petition.The responding party is known as the Respondent and the Petitioning party is the Petitioner.The Respondent has 30 days to make a formal Answer.Often an extension of time is requested and settlement is negotiated.Many times it can be settled in that time and if negotiations are promising, maybe the Petitioner will agree to wait and settle.If not, the Petitioner can ask the court to order what the Petitioner requested in the Petition after the Respondent is in default.The Respondent is in default 30 days after receiving the Summons and Petition.The court will entertain such after about 45 days.Then when there is a deal or there has been a trial, the court will issue the Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, Judgment and Decree.That is the final divorce document.
There are several methods to resolve family court matters.First there are Temporary Relief and Final Decreess.Some people practicing family law generally have a favorite mode of practice, but if used properly, each style has an application in many cases.Some cases are better suited for one method over another.The default option is to use the District Court in motion and trial litigation practice.Since that system had some difficult aspects in some cases, other methods have been developed to better suit certain known or common problem areas.These alternate methods can be called Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) generally.Summary Dissolution Procedures, Expedited Process, Arbitration, Mediation and Collaborative Law are more specialized tools designed to better resolve some, but not all, cases.
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