What happens in the second stage of Divorce regarding Ancillary Matters?
After the Court has decided that there is enough evidence to consider that the marriage has irrevocably broken down and the Court issues the Interim Judgment, the Divorce case moves into the second stage where the Court will handle the remaining ancillary matters, meaning the other matters connected to the case such as Child Custody, Maintenance of the Wife and Children and the Division of the Matrimonial Assets and Properties.
The second stage begins when an administrative hearing called a Pre-Trial Conference is conducted. This is typically conducted about a month after the Interim Judgment is issued.
The Ancillary Matters Pre-Trial Conference is conducted by a Judge in chambers – meaning that the hearing is closed to the public, and only those directly involved in the matter can attend. You or your spouse don’t have to attend the Ancillary Matters Pre-Trial Conference yourself if either of you’ve got a lawyer.
The purpose of this Ancillary Matters Pre-Trial Conference is to get you and your spouse ready for the ancillary matters hearing, which will take place before a Judge in chambers.
If there is a chance of settlement, the Judge can refer the case for counselling with a professional Court counsellor, or for a resolution conference at the Family Relations Chambers. In a complicated case involving many issues and areas of disagreement regarding children, the Judge can consider referring the matter to a professional Court counsellor or social worker, so that a confidential report on the issue of Child custody or access can be prepared to help the Judge make a better decision at the ancillary matters hearing.
If settlement is not possible, the Judge will ask you and your spouse to file your official written statements containing your version of facts and evidence in support of your respective requests regarding the Ancillary Matters called Affidavits of Assets and Means. If you’re not sure what to write in your affidavit or you need help preparing it, you should seek independent legal advice from a Divorce or Family Lawyer.
So, there you’ve it, some basic information on: What happens in the second stage of Divorce regarding Ancillary Matters