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Family Court Procedure


A Family Court action is initiated by filing a Complaint which is then served on the other party.  Issues that need to be resolved early such as child custody and visitation, child and spousal support and possession of certain essential pieces of property are handled at a Temporary Hearing.  The Temporary Hearing is generally held within thirty days.  The parties' positions are presented through their attorneys and notarized documents (Affidavits and Financial Declarations).  Following the Temporary Hearing, the parties go through discovery.  If issues regarding minor children are disputed, a Guardian Ad Litem is appointed and conducts an investigation (See Guardian Ad Litem and Child Custody FAQs). Often Family Court disputes can be mediated (See the mediation description in the Child Custody FAQ).  If the case cannot be settled, a Final Hearing with sworn testimony and exhibits is held.



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