Author: achlawfirm

CONTESTED DIVORCE

  1. Reply to Answer – Depending what is in the answer there may be a requirement to reply to the answer (usually if there is a counterclaim for divorce).

  2. First Pretrial – The first pretrial (or case management conference in some counties) is a chance for the magistrate or judge to hearing the preliminary issues of the divorce. Some courts will set up a schedule for the case at this hearing, while some just set up the next pretrial. If there is a custody dispute, the court is likely to appoint a guardian ad litem for the children. Some preliminary orders may be issued. In addition, if it turns out that the case can be settled that day, the court may be willing to have an uncontested hearing. If that is the case the divorce will be over that day.

  3. Discovery – Discovery is an opportunity for the parties to find out information from the other party that will be needed to help resolve the case. In many low conflict cases, the discovery will be informal. In high conflict cases, the attorneys may use the rules of civil procedures methods for discovery. While this can be burdensome, there is the advantage of court enforcement. Normally a discovery cutoff will be set which is the last day that the parties can ask for enforcement motions on discovery.

  4. Subsequent Pretrials (or Settlement Conference) – All pretrials after the initial pretrial are designed to see if the case can be settled. If there is a settlement the court would hold an uncontested hearing and the case will be resolved. It is also a time to hear any motions and to issue other pretrial orders.

  5. Trial – Domestic Pretrials do not have juries and may or may not be heard in a courtroom. Witnesses are called by both sides and there is the opportunity for cross-examination. There is hardly a case where the judge issues a verdict at the trial. Instead they will either issue a magistrate decision (in the case of a magistrate) or a final judgment entry (in the case of the judge). If the matter is resolved by magistrate decision a judgment entry will be prepared provided there are no objections 14 days after the issuance of the magistrate decision.

  6. Submission of Decree -If you’re hearing officer was a magistrate then the judge will still need to sign the document. In most counties you will receive a certified copy of the decree in the mail (in Cuyahoga County they will likely email the copy to you).

UNCONTESTED DIVORCE

  1. Receipt of notice of uncontested hearing – The court will automatically assign a hearing upon good service and passage of the time for an answer. YOU WILL NEED TO ATTEND THIS HEARING. In addition, if you do not expect that your spouse will attend the hearing, then you will need to bring a witness to testify to the grounds for your divorce.

  2. Pre-approval process of the divorce decree -Prior to the hearing I file the final paperwork regarding the divorce. For most counties this is done on the day of the hearing. For Cuyahoga County, I will go to the courthouse prior to the hearing to get the documents pre-approved.

  3. Attending the hearingAGAIN YOU MUST ATTEND THE HEARING. We will have the paperwork signed at that point. If your spouse is not coming THEN YOU MUST BRING A WITNESS. Failure to bring a witness will result in the case being rescheduled. There will be a hearing with the judge or the magistrate and at that point the decree will be signed. UNCONTESTED FEE DUE AT THIS POINT.

  4. Receipt of Divorce Decree -Depending on the county, you may be able to get your decree on the day of your hearing. If you’re hearing officer was a magistrate then the judge will still need to sign the document. In most counties you will receive a certified copy of the decree in the mail (in Cuyahoga County they will likely email the copy to you).

DIVORCE (EARLY STAGES)

  1. Step One Initial Consultation – We go over the issues arising in the divorce. You will receive a contract. It will be up to you, after the consultation if you would like to go with us or not.

  2. Step Two Document Preparation Consultation, initial retainer due, we will prepare the initial paperwork to start the divorce process. If documents must be signed by the other party those will be prepared and a plan to get them cheap hockey jerseys signed by the other party will be devised.

  3. Signing Drop-Off If documents were to be signed by the other party we receive those documents and prepare for submission to the court. Any court costs is due at this time.

  4. Case Filed – Case is filed with the court. Depending on the court this may be done by mail, personal drop off, or electronic filing submission.

  5. Service РAs in any lawsuit, the court must serve the Defendant the complaint. This is usually done through certified mail (though in Cuyahoga County they try Fedex First). If there is a failure of the Certified Mail, then the court upon our instruction shall send the documents by first class mail (except in Cuyahoga County where if the Fed Ex mailing fails then it is by Certified Mail, and then first class mail). If we do not know the current whereabouts of the Spouse then we may provide notice by Publication or Posting. If we have a waiver of service, then that document meets the service requirement. For Cuyahoga County’s Course Click This Link.

  6. If children are involved in the case then attending the parenting course.– This is a two hour course about parenting during and after the divorce process. It is required in all domestic cases where there are children. The court will not grant a divorce in many cases if the Plaintiff does not complete the court. If the Defendant fails to complete the course they are usually unable to enforce parenting rights till they complete the course.

  7. After the complainant is served, the Defendant has 28 days to respond to the complaint by filing an answer. If an answer is filed then follow the Contested Divorce Steps. If an Answer is not filed then follow Uncontested Divorce Steps.

CHAPTER 13 Bankruptcy – Procedure

  1. Step One – Initial Consultation

  2. Step Two – Credit Counseling Course – www.debtorcc.org – $14.95 – In order to file a bankruptcy a debtor must complete a pre-filing course. The court is about 45 minutes long and is usually done on line. They will ask for financial information similar to what I asked at the initial consultation. Afterwards they will provide budget recommendations for your situation. Most of my clients find that the first course is beneficial. IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU EITHER CALL OR HAVE A TEXT SESSION with one of their counselors. After the session they will issue a certificate that I file with the bankruptcy.

  3. Step Three – Signing Consultation – bring Tax Return, 2 months pay stubs, debts (a debt list with name of creditor, year incurred, and est. amount or the bills). If being garnished, bring the fax number to your payroll. The court costs are due at this point. I do not ask for an initial fee in a chapter 13 if I believe that there is a good chance of success. If I think there is not a good chance of success (and I would tell you ahead of time) I usually would ask for an initial fee at this point. That initial fee is deducted for the fee that would be in the plan payment.

  4. Step Four – Case Filed– once the case is filed an automatic stay goes in effect that prevents most creditors from doing collection actions during the bankruptcy.

  5. Step Five – Wage Order Comes into effect – If you are working the payments will starting coming out of your paycheck. It is important to remember that until that happens you are responsible for making the payment yourself. The first payment is due 30 days after the filing of the case or the conversion to a chapter 13.

  6. Step Six – 341 Hearing – bring ID, Social Security Card, and Last Bank Statement

  7. Step Seven – Objection to Chapter 13 Plan – The trustee will often object to issues in the plan. Often times they want a document or they want a different allocation of funds in the plan. Sometimes they do ask for an increase in the monthly plan. If the request is legitimate, we will file an amendment to the bankruptcy petition, provide the information, or modify the bankruptcy plan. This should be done before the confirmation hearing.

  8. Step Eight – Confirmation Hearing – This is when the court approves or denies your plan. It is important to remember that the court will deny the plan if the plan payments are not current. The court may grant a continuance of the hearing to correct any deficiencies to the plan. If the plan is approved then it becomes the basis of the chapter 13 until the case is over.

  9. Step Nine – Payment Period – Fairly straight forward. This is when the payments of the Chapter 13 are made to the trustee.

  10. Step Ten – Financial Management Coursewww.debtorcc.org – $9.95 – notify us when you have done your course!!!! (If course is not done before discharge date, the court can close the case. The court costs for reopening a case is 260 dollars). The course is typically 2 hours and involves mostly reading on-line. There is typically a simple quiz at the end. Most companies including the one I have recommended will allow you to do the course in sessions. I am not aware of any chat session or phone call that is required.

  11. .

  12. Step Eleven- Discharge – (approx. 60 days after 341 Hearing). – This is the order that tells the creditors that you do not owe them anymore. You will be issued a copy of the discharge through the mail along with a list of everyone who is getting a copy of the discharge. With few exceptions, most creditors are discharged. Receiving a discharge does not necessarily means that the case is closed, but for the most part your role in it is.

CHAPTER 7 Bankruptcy – Process

  1. Step One – Initial Consultation – at the initial consultation we will sit down and go through your financial situation and determine if a bankruptcy would work and what issues might arise if you file a bankruptcy.

  2. Step Two – www.debtorcc.org – $14.95 – In order to file a bankruptcy a debtor must complete a pre-filing course. The court is about 45 minutes long and is usually done on line. They will ask for financial information similar to what I asked at the initial consultation. Afterwards they will provide budget recommendations for your situation. Most of my clients find that the first course is beneficial. IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU EITHER CALL OR HAVE A TEXT SESSION with one of their counselors. After the session they will issue a certificate that I file with the bankruptcy.

  3. Step Three – Signing Consultation – bring Tax Return, 2 months paystubs, debts (a debt list with name of creditor, year incurred, and est. amount or the bills), car title (or memorandum title), and life insurance beneficiary info. If being garnished, bring the fax number to your payroll. At this point I also ask for the initial attorney fee. If we have not agreed with an installment plan I would also ask for a court cost payment as well.

  4. Step Four – Case Filed – once the case is filed an automatic stay goes in effect that prevents most creditors from doing collection actions during the bankruptcy.

  5. Step Five – 341 Hearing – bring ID, Social Security Card, and Last Bank Statement. In a Chapter 7 341 hearing a bankruptcy trustee will review your petition and ask you a set of questions similar to what I asked at the signing consultation. They are looking to see if there is anything that they can take, sell, and give to the creditors. In the vast majority of case there is nothing that they can take. However, if there is, you should know this by now because we have done two consultations regarding your case. The hearing typically lasts about 5 minutes. While I cannot guarantee that the process will be pleasant, I can say that I do not have any issues with the fairness of any of the bankruptcy trustees that I have worked with.

  6. Step Six – Financial Management Coursewww.debtorcc.org – $9.95 – notify us when you have done your course!!!! (If course is not done before discharge date, the court can close the case. The court costs for reopening a case is 260 dollars). The course is typically 2 hours and involves mostly reading on-line. There is typically a simple quiz at the end. Most companies including the one I have recommended will allow you to do the course in sessions. I am not aware of any chat session or phone call that is required.

  7. Step Seven – Discharge – (approx. 60 days after 341 Hearing). – This is the order that tells the creditors that you do not owe them anymore. You will be issued a copy of the discharge through the mail along with a list of everyone who is getting a copy of the discharge. With few exceptions, most creditors are discharged. Receiving a discharge does not necessarily means that the case is closed, but for the most part your role in it is.

  8. Step Eight – 2nd Part of Filing Fee – Due 30 days after discharge (if needed, I will work with people on the second part of the fee)

CHAPTER 7 Bankruptcy – Process

  1. Step One – Initial Consultation – at the initial consultation we will sit down and go through your financial situation and determine if a bankruptcy would work and what issues might arise if you file a bankruptcy.

  2. Step Two – www.debtorcc.org – $14.95 – In order to file a bankruptcy a debtor must complete a pre-filing course. The court is about 45 minutes long and is usually done on line. They will ask for financial information similar to what I asked at the initial consultation. Afterwards they will provide budget recommendations for your situation. Most of my clients find that the first course is beneficial. IT IS IMPORTANT THAT YOU EITHER CALL OR HAVE A TEXT SESSION with one of their counselors. After the session they will issue a certificate that I file with the bankruptcy.

  3. Step Three – Signing Consultation – bring Tax Return, 2 months paystubs, debts (a debt list with name of creditor, year incurred, and est. amount or the bills), car title (or memorandum title), and life insurance beneficiary info. If being garnished, bring the fax number to your payroll. At this point I also ask for the initial attorney fee. If we have not agreed with an installment plan I would also ask for a court cost payment as well.

  4. Step Four – Case Filed – once the case is filed an automatic stay goes in effect that prevents most creditors from doing collection actions during the bankruptcy.

  5. Step Five – 341 Hearing – bring ID, Social Security Card, and Last Bank Statement. In a Chapter 7 341 hearing a bankruptcy trustee will review your petition and ask you a set of questions similar to what I asked at the signing consultation. They are looking to see if there is anything that they can take, sell, and give to the creditors. In the vast majority of case there is nothing that they can take. However, if there is, you should know this by now because we have done two consultations regarding your case. The hearing typically lasts about 5 minutes. While I cannot guarantee that the process will be pleasant, I can say that I do not have any issues with the fairness of any of the bankruptcy trustees that I have worked with.

  6. Step Six – Financial Management Coursewww.debtorcc.org – $9.95 – notify us when you have done your course!!!! (If course is not done before discharge date, the court can close the case. The court costs for reopening a case is 260 dollars). The course is typically 2 hours and involves mostly reading on-line. There is typically a simple quiz at the end. Most companies including the one I have recommended will allow you to do the course in sessions. I am not aware of any chat session or phone call that is required.

  7. Step Seven – Discharge – (approx. 60 days after 341 Hearing). – This is the order that tells the creditors that you do not owe them anymore. You will be issued a copy of the discharge through the mail along with a list of everyone who is getting a copy of the discharge. With few exceptions, most creditors are discharged. Receiving a discharge does not necessarily means that the case is closed, but for the most part your role in it is.

  8. Step Eight – 2nd Part of Filing Fee – Due 30 days after discharge (if needed, I will work with people on the second part of the fee)