Last week we began a conversation about how long it will take to get a divorce in Boulder County (read Part I of the series HERE).
From the day you file to the day your divorce is finalized, you’re attempting to reach an agreement. If you reach an agreement after 91 days from filing, the case can be finalized. If your case goes to trial, whatever you haven’t agreed to will be decided on by your judge.
Trials in Boulder County
When filing in Boulder County, you’ll get what is referred to as a Trailing Docket. People have different opinions about the trailing docket. Some people like that fact that there are fewer continuances; however, other people think it delays settings and makes it harder to arrange witnesses.
The trailing docket means you won’t get a specific trial day but you will get a trial week. At the end of the week directly preceding your trial week, a scheduling judge will call you up and let you know the exact date of your trial.
In other counties, judges handle their own cases all the way through. One judge might schedule five trials for one day, anticipating that four of them will go away. Since a judge can’t do more than one trial in a day, if all five of those cases go to trial, then that judge will have to continue four of the trials.
It’s Not a Perfect System
While the courts attempt to schedule your trial with the judge who has been working on it the entire time, that doesn’t always happen with the trailing docket. I worked a case that had gone through three lengthy hearings before going to trial. When the trial date came, we were given a judge that had no previous contact with the case.
Of course, the judge had read the file, but it wasn’t the same as having a judge who’d been actively involved the entire time. Judges have different tendencies and the last minute change in judges can really impact trial strategy.
Reviewing the Timeline
The first thing you do when starting divorce proceedings is file your case. It is very useful to establish a timeline with all the deadlines, so you don’t miss any.
Next, at the ISC, the judge will start to establish deadlines to try and get the case ready for trial as early as possible.
By way of example, if the status quo is not working, the court will schedule temporary orders. These are orders that remain in effect during the pendency of the case. The process is to keep the parties working towards a settlement, and, only if that is unsuccessful, will the case proceed to trial.
If you are considering a divorce and would like help understanding the process, call our office today at (720) 999-9506 to set up a free consultation.