The majority of divorces now settle before the final hearing. This means that neither spouse will ever have the necessity of presenting witnesses or evidence to a judge. There are distinct advantages to this, as this means a quicker and typically cheaper conclusion to the parties’ divorce. Not all couples are able to come to an agreement, though, and will need to present proof at a final hearing in order to support his or her case. The kind of proof will clearly vary depending on the type of issues involved in the case.
If the couple has children in common, this will often be the issue most important to both spouses. Each spouse will have to present a proposal to the court as to what would be in the child’s best interest in terms of custody and visitation. The type of proof helpful here will usually revolve around each parent’s stability, who has historically been the primary caretaker for the children, and each parent’s ability to parent going forward. School records, proof of a stable and suitable residence, and proof of a stable work schedule that can accommodate the children are all examples of the type of proof a parent may require in a custody dispute.
In most cases, parties must also present proof of income. This will be necessary where there is an issue of child support or an issue of spousal support. In both cases, the court will need to know each party’s income in order to set a proper support amount. If one spouse is unemployed, then proof of how much that person is capable of making will be necessary. This can come in the form of old pay information or, if none is available, how much a person in a similar career can make.
For division of marital assets, each spouse will need to provide a proposal to the court as to what would constitute an equitable division of assets. To support the proposal, each spouse will need proof of the assets’ respective values. This is not necessary for smaller items such as bed linens or dishes, but is often very necessary for large assets such as real estate or a family business. If it is disputed whether the asset is a marital one, proof must also be provided to show when and how the asset was acquired, as well as whose name is associated with the asset and how the asset was used. Marital debt is easier to prove, as typically it is possible to provide specific documents detailing the exact amount owed.
The type of proof required for a divorce will vary wildly depending on the case. We have experience in assisting our clients to understand the type of proof required an in presenting it successfully to the court. Contact us today at (732) 529-6937 to talk about your case.