A divorce, formally known as a “dissolution of marriage”, is a legal action filed by a married person to end the marriage and return to the legal status of an unmarried person. After a marriage is “dissolved” the marital contract is officially terminated and the parties are then restored to the status of unmarried, making them legally eligible to remarry.

As a married couple dissolves its marriage, the parties will most often come to an agreement with regard to the terms of dividing property and assets, establishing spousal and child support, as well as creating mutually agreeable child custody arrangements. The documents commemorating the couple’s agreement are known as a Stipulated Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage (which will be filed with the Court.)

The Law Offices of Matthew Smurda can assist either party in connection with the negotiation, drafting, and execution of a Stipulated Judgment of Dissolution of Marriage.

Often the parties may wish to engage in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) procedures in hopes of resolving their differences and reaching an agreement. Such ADR procedures can include mediation, a Voluntary Settlement Conference (VSC), or even a simple “4-way” meeting between the parties and their attorneys. The Law Offices of Matthew Smurda assists our clients in connection with such ADR proceedings.

In the event that the parties cannot agree, then the matter must be resolved by the Family Law Court at trial. After trial, the Family Law Court will issue a Judgment which will resolve all of the issues of the marriage (i.e. division of property, spousal support, child support, child custody, attorney’s fees, etc.) The Law Offices of Matthew Smurda can represent either party before the Court at trial.

In many instances, it may desirable for the parties involved to have the issues resolved privately and confidentially outside of the courtroom. The Law Offices of Matthew Smurda will utilize the services of retired family law judges and commissioners to help decide the issues of such cases expeditiously, privately, and confidentially.