Our matrimonial law practice includes representation in divorces, custody actions, relocations, property disputes and disputes involving payment of child support and alimony. We are sensitive to the individual needs of each of our clients in family disputes as we recognize that they can be emotionally charged and difficult for many families.
It is our firm policy to try earnestly to resolve family disputes for our clients with as little anguish and expense as possible. Accordingly, every effort is made to reach a negotiated resolution that is satisfactory to our clients. In some cases, court intervention is necessary. At Costello, Brennan & DeVidas, P.C. we have extensive trial experience in family matters.
Great care is devoted to meeting the needs of our clients involved in family law cases as we recognize that these type of proceedings can be intimidating. As such, we work with our clients using a team approach and thoroughly explain each step of the litigation process. Every telephone message, for example, is returned each day.
A divorce begins with the preparation of a Summons and Complaint by the Attorney for the Plaintiff. Those documents are served upon the Defendant by a state marshal. The documents identify a Return Date. The Return Date is significant for two reasons. Firstly, it is the date by which the Defendant or the Defendant’s attorney must file with the Court an Appearance form. An Appearance form is simply a name and address form which indicates to the Court the address of the Defendant or Defendant’s attorney so that notice of the proceedings can be provided to the Defendant by way of court notices and court calendars.
The Return Date is also significant because it begins a ninety day waiting period. The ninety days is to be used to explore reconciliation if that is a possibility. If reconciliation is not a possibility then the ninety days is to be used to negotiate an agreement. During that ninety day period, negotiations take place to attempt to resolve custody and parenting disputes. In addition, the ninety days is to be used to gather and analyze financial documents to be able to create a proposal to resolve financial issues. After the ninety day period has expired, a form is filed with the Court to indicate to the Court the status of the case. For example, the status may be that the divorcing parties have reached an agreement or that the parties have not reached an agreement and require judicial intervention to resolve some of their disputes. Thereafter, a court date is assigned to dispose of the matter whether by agreement or trial.
At Costello, Brennan & DeVidas, P.C. we offer free consultations and would appreciate the opportunity to assist you in the resolution of your family law dispute.