Is There Always a Court Hearing Before a Divorce Is Finalized?

by Wayne Thomas
A divorce hearing is required if you and your spouse are not in agreement.

A divorce hearing is required if you and your spouse are not in agreement.

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Divorces effectively dissolve the legal relationship of marriage between a couple. For that reason, all states require divorces to be finalized through the court system. But not all couples must attend an actual court hearing before obtaining a divorce. Understanding what types of cases likely require a hearing will help you prepare for your divorce.

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Granting Your Divorce

If you or your spouse disagree on any major component of your divorce, the matter must proceed to trial and at least one court hearing will be necessary. But, if you are in total agreement regarding property division, spousal support and child custody, some states will grant a divorce based on the paperwork alone. This option is often reserved for less complex cases, such as those not involving children. Instead of requiring the parties to provide oral testimony, they can submit sworn written affidavits and the judge will simply review the documents before finalizing the divorce. The court always reserves the option to hold a hearing if there are unresolved issues regarding the legal sufficiency of the affidavits or if the agreement is unfair to one of the parties.