Montana Divorce Steps

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In this state, divorce is referred by a legal term and that is "dissolution of marriage." The first divorce step in any dissolution is that one married partner files a Petition for Dissolution in a District Court in the state of Montana. This partner is known as the Petitioner. The spouse of the Petitioner is called as the Respondent. Before performing the first step for a divorce, the residency requirements are to be taken care of. Residency requirements represent rules of residence required to be eligible to file for a divorce. In Montana, such conditions are to be fulfilled by an applicant by staying in the state for at least three months.

The next step is that the Petitioner serves a copy of the Petition to the Respondent. If the Respondent cannot be located, the Petitioner has to perform Service by Publication. The court allocates the Respondent twenty days from the service date to file a Response to the allegations in the Petition. If the Respondent does not do so, the court considers the Respondent to be in default. This is called as a Default Dissolution.

Highlights of Montana Divorce Steps

  • In case of a Default Dissolution, the court grants the Petitioner all that is requested in the Petition as far as the requests are fair in the view of the court. If the Petitioner has children and the court thinks that the parenting plan mentioned in the Petition is in the best interests of the children, then it is awarded

  • Any partner can request the court to issue interim orders that would be enforceable till the final dissolution decree is granted. Some examples of interim orders are as follows:
    • Temporary Order of Protection: This order is applicable when one spouse feels that he or she and the children are in danger due to the other spouse. As per this order, the other spouse cannot establish contact with the protected spouse and protected children. Generally, these orders are issued considering the history of violent and imbalanced behavior of an accused spouse
    • Temporary Maintenance Order: One partner can request this order if the partners have been married for a long time and one partner is in need of temporary economical help, while the dissolution process is in progress. If the partner has sacrificed his or her career for the marriage, such support can be extended till the financial settlement of that partner
    • Temporary Child Support Order: When the divorcing partners have separated, the partner having primary custody would require some amount of money from the other parent while the divorce process in pending. The District Court immediately schedules a hearing to determine the temporary support payment

  • As per the Montana law, each partner must offer the other partner, a preliminary disclosure of the expenses, income, debts and assets within sixty days from the date of service of the Petition. If any partner fails to do so, the court regards the statement of the other partner as an authentic one. If any partner furnishes a false statement intentionally, the court might consider this as a contempt of court and levy certain fine or due penalty.

  • One of the Montana Divorce Steps that is held in the early part of the lawsuit is termed as a Scheduling Conference. Both the parties must attend this conference. The steps taken during this conference are as follows:
    • Deciding the date for trial- The trial is a phase in a divorce where a person has to prove the accusations or fault grounds, which he or she has made about the partner. The lawyers can represent such case and present the evidences on behalf of an applicant. Here, the depositions and interrogations are made by both sides in order to cross-examine the proofs and witnesses
    • Setting a deadline for the following steps:
      • Disclosure of trial exhibits and witnesses- It is a registration and announcement of witnesses that a person may use to prove his or her side
      • Completion of mediation- Mediation is a process where the counseling is arranged for couples to give them a last chance to resolve matters related to divorce
      • Completion of discovery- As mentioned above, the partners have to submit statements regarding their personal financial condition in the court. The spouses can ask each other to provide any relevant information to this matter

        After this conference is over, the courts in this state liberally grant extensions of the deadlines. The court exercises this right although any partner has any objection to it

The Montana divorce steps are not limited to the contested divorce only. There are different procedure for a divorce that is taken mutually after the consent of both parties. These divorces consists of steps like filing a case and submitting a mutual agreement.

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