What To Expect the Day of My Divorce Court Hearing
The process of divorce can be overwhelming and for most individuals the thought of being present within a court room can be intimidating. Comeiro Mediation wants to lend a helping hand through these processes to ease any stresses you may have. We want to provide our best knowledge to help you through this time in your life. If you have any questions, please reach out to us through all our media platforms or email Mark directly at [email protected]
The Massachusetts Family and Probate Courts have returned to in person court hearing as of January of 2022. Although some court cases can still be held via zoom or other virtual phone calls, the chances are your divorce hearing will now be held in person.
Once you have filed for divorce, you will wait for the court to issue you a hearing date. COVID19 has deferred the courts back, so this may be a waiting game. This process can take up to several months. Be prepared and know this will not occur overnight. Once your court filing is processed you will receive a court date in the mail. It is important that you reach out to your mediator if you have any changes in your address, so the court date does not get mailed to a previous address.
The paperwork that you will receive in the mail from the court will provide you information regarding the date, time, and location of your hearing. Make sure to keep track of all this crucial information.
Below we have compiled a list of the most important tips to help you for your court date.
- Arrive at least 15 minutes early as you will want sufficient time to go through security and find your way to the court room.
- Business casual attire is required in a court.
- All cellphones, laptops, and tablets are permitted for use in public areas of the courthouse, providing the activity does not disturb court business.
- Photographs of ANY kind are prohibited in court. Photographing and recording court documents of any kind without the permission of the judge or the clerk is also prohibited. Turn off [or make sure your device is silenced] and stow away devices before entering the court room.
- You will check in with security where an officer will direct you to your assigned court room [they are numbered]
- If the door to the court room is closed, please wait outside the door. If the door is open, you may enter and check in with the clerk. The judge will ask you a series of questions and proceed to make his or her final decision. This process takes around 10 minutes.
Things to remember:
- The judge is there to protect both parties. He or She will ask questions to make sure you both agree and that you both feel as though your separation agreement is fair. It is crucial to answer with honesty.
- In the state of Massachusetts, a divorce is finalized 120 days after your court hearing. You may request your Divorce Decree at that time via the Family and Probate Court. This document is not automatically sent to you [only per request].
- For many this experience can be extremely emotional. Take some time before to prepare yourself and [if possible] take some time off after to decompress mentally.