We want to give you an idea of what to expect during the litigation process. Litigation can be confusing, time-consuming, and a miserable process in general. However, in this case, knowledge of the process can sometimes alleviate some of the stress. Consider the following as a general timeline of what you can expect:
• Within a week of retaining: We will begin work on your case. Usually, this means drafting documents on your behalf. Once the paperwork has been drafted, you will be called to the office to sign them.
• Within a month of retaining: Generally, if you are responding to a complaint, we only have thirty days to respond, so we will have filed your answer. We will also file “Discovery” in certain cases. Discovery is simply one party asking the other party questions that they must answer.
• Within three months of retaining: If there are temporary issues in your case, we will file a motion with the Court asking for temporary relief.
• Within six months of retaining: (Hopefully sooner!) Depending on the county, we will hopefully have a final hearing at this point. Again, the timing for a final hearing is almost COMPLETELY county and even judge-specific. It also depends on how complicated your case is. Things like children, businesses, and retirement could extend the time necessary to adequately prepare for a case.
Individual judges have control over their dockets and over-scheduling hearings. There are over 50 Circuit Court Judges in the State of Alabama who hear family law matters. This means there are over 50 different dockets and over 50 different ways of doing things. What could take two months in a rural county could take six months in a busy circuit. There are also issues like settlement and mediation that will fall somewhere in the midst of all of these things.
We know waiting can be frustrating. We strive to keep in regular contact with our clients regarding their status. Please feel free to call us if you have any questions, or if you’d like to schedule a consultation.