Asked over 2 years ago - Boston, MAFlag
what if i change my state can i still continue with my case at mass
The Court sends you a notice of pre-trial conference, which states that you need to have an accurate financial statement and pre-trial memorandum filed at the pre-trial. The notice will tell you what to include in the memorandum. The memorandum will tell the court what the contested and uncontested issues are, i.e, custody, property division, health insurance etc. So the judge will read the memos and then hear from both parties about their respective positions on the issues and depending on the judge may provide you with some feedback on how he or she would rule on these issues and try and help you resolve the case. If you are unable to resolve the case, the court will likely schedule a trial date. In rare cases, if there are very few issues and they are relatively simple, the court could order the case to immediate trial on the day of the pre-trial.
If you have a pre-trial conference scheduled, then the Court in MA has jurisdiction over your case, this will be true whether you move out of state now or not, because you have already subjected yourself to the jurisdiction of the court.
The pretrial conference is where all the parties and the judge identify which issues and facts are being contested, determine a trial date, and allow the court to decide whether the dispute can be settled before trial.
Your case may still be brought in MA if you change states as long as you were a resident of MA one year before filing.
Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on, since each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship
It is not the best time to move out of state if you have a pending divorce action. The Court usually requires a four-way meeting before the Pre-trial Conferenced to attempt to settle the case or narrow the issues. If the case is not settled before the Pre-trial Conference, the judge is available to assist the parties in settling the case or resolving any evidence issues, such as appraisals of real estate, in preparation for trial. If the case is very active, you may be required to return to Court for additional hearings when issues arise and this would be difficult for you if you live out of state. As always, you should consult with an experienced divorce attorney to determine what course of action would be in your best interests.
Disclaimer: This response does not constitute legal advice and does not establish an attorney-client relationship.
Approximately six (6) months after the filing of a Complaint for Divorce the Court will schedule a Pre-Trial Conference. If the Court does not automatically schedule this conference, then either party can request that a Pre-Trial conference be scheduled by filing a written request with the Court. The goal of a Pre-Trial Conference is to help the parties narrow the issues in their case prior to the scheduling of a trial and if possible settle the case.
Since the majority of cases settle at the Pre-Trial Conference, this is an important turning point in your case. Upon the scheduling of the Pre-Trial Conference, the Court requires that the parties hold an in person Settlement Conference at least one week prior to the Conference, and that if the parties are unable to reach an agreement at the Settlement Conference, then both parties shall file a Pre-Trial Memorandum informing the Court of what issues they agree upon, and what issues they disagree upon. This is a lengthy document that your attorney will prepare for you, and which will address numerous issues including informing the Judge what witnesses you will call at trial, and what evidence you will present. If you do not have an attorney you should read the Pre-Trial Notice from the Court very carefully and try to include all of the required sections in your memo.
Prior to the Pre-Trial Conference, the Judge will review the Financial Statements of both parties, the Pre-Trial Memorandum of both parties and will sometimes allow oral argument on particular issues. The judge then provides feedback to the parties regarding how the court might decide their case if, after hearing all of the evidence at a trial, the Judge finds the facts of your case to be the same as those facts presented in the Pre-Trial Memoranda. Given this feedback from the Judge, we are often able to settle formerly disputed issues.
In many cases your attorney may ask you to make a "business decision" and take into account not just the facts surrounding your case, but also the value of compromise in both ending litigation and in avoiding the cost of a trial. A divorce trial will be very expensive for both you and your spouse and can often cost more than $25,000.00 per party in attorneys fees. That is why it is so important to be well-prepared for the Pre-Trial Conference and to listen carefully to the Judge at the Pre-Trial Conference.
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