A divorce ends the legal relationship between a husband and wife. The divorce does not end the family relationship, even though the relationship will change.
Several decisions must be made before a divorce is granted. These include custody, parenting time, property settlement, child support, spousal support-alimony, health care coverage, restoration of maiden name, and domicile.
Divorce issues may be resolved in the following ways:
- The parties may be able to reach an agreement by themselves or by talking to their attorneys.
- Mediation may be available to resolve the issues of custody and visitation.
- The Friend of the Court referee may hear the issues and make a recommendation to the judge.
- The judge may help in settling a matter having a pretrial or settlement conference.
- The judge will hold a hearing or trial on the issues that have not been resolved.
Alternatives to Divorce Action
Not every divorce matter that is started ends in a divorce. A divorce matter may be suspended with a written Notice of Reconciliation to the Friend of the Court. A reconciliation does not dismiss a divorce action or stop a current child support order until a new order is in place. If the parties wish to end the divorce action, they must file an Order of Dismissal with the circuit court and provide a copy to the Friend of the Court.