Most people are unfamiliar with the divorce process and the procedures that the law requires. All cases are different but, here is a short summary of the divorce process and procedures in the majority of cases filed in Montana.
- File a verified, signed petition for dissolution with parenting plan if there are minor children.
- Have a summons issued which includes the automatic property restraining order.
- Serve your spouse.
- Your spouse then has 21 days to file a verified, signed response to the petition for dissolution and their proposed parenting, if appropriate.
- Preliminary disclosure statements of all income, debts, assets and liabilities are due within 60 days of the filing of the petition for dissolution.
- Both parties can then file temporary motions for interim child support, interim maintenance, interim family support, restraining orders, professional fees, interim parenting plan, control of the residence, and other necessary interim relief.
- The Court will issue a scheduling order setting deadlines for certain things to be done including completing discovery of information and documents necessary to prosecute your case.
- Unless you are able to settle your case beforehand you may attend a settlement conference to see if it is possible resolve all property and parenting issues without going to trial.
- If all issues are not resolved at (or before) the settlement conference, then final disclosure statements are due 45 days before the trial date.
- The Court will conduct and trial and will decide all unresolved issues between the parties.
- If either party believes the district court errored in its decision, either party may appeal within 30 days of the notice of the entry of the decree.
The Dissolution process can be complicated and may feel overwhelming. Our office tracks deadlines for all cases which we handle, and can draft all of the documents you need in order to advocate for your position with the court. If you find yourself in need of assistance, have a question or are feeling completely overwhelmed, give us a call.