Resolving Your Divorce In A Court Of Law
Here Comes The Judge
Sometimes couples cannot resolve differences in their divorce amicably and must turn to the legal system for resolution. Litigation or Traditional Representation is an adversarial process in which resolution is determined by application of the law regarding rights, responsibilities, and entitlements. This is the “default” process. If you and your spouse do not agree via another option (such as mediation), then you must resolve your dispute through Litigation or Traditional Representation.
This process will involve both sides (in most cases) being represented by attorneys, although one side may occasionally choose self-representation. Attorneys will perform discovery, present their evidence at a hearing, and advocate for their client’s desired outcome. A judge will make decisions for you to resolve the disputed matters, which can include spousal support, property division, child support and visitation, distribution of financial assets and debts, and even custody of family pets.
Litigation/Traditional Representation is most often time-consuming and expensive — and it can leave lasting effects on families and relationships. At Peace Talks, we prefer non-adversarial dispute resolution through mediation. However, there are simply some cases in which Litigation is unavoidable.
Litigation attorneys often use professional neutrals to facilitate settlement negotiations for litigated cases. Peace Talks can offer a unique solution for your litigation process to help identify interests in addition to the legal options.
There are both advantages and disadvantages to Litigation/Traditional Representation.
Advantages of Traditional Representation
- The law defines what you and your spouse get or have to give up.
- The court can order timelines with deadlines for decisions.
- The court can compel a person to do certain acts, such as: produce documents, pay support, turn over property, grant access to children, etc.
- The law provides a framework to address nearly all factual situations. The issues within the power of the court to resolve will be resolved.
- The judge can make decisions regardless of the degree of cooperation or objections by either party.
- The court can provide protective orders in situations involving coercive control and intimate partner violence.
- Formal discovery, both written and oral, is available; and may help you find hidden assets and debts.
- Enforcement sanctions are available when either spouse fails to disclose information or fails to cooperate in settlement.
Disadvantages of Traditional Representation
- Typically Traditional Representation is the costliest option, especially if your matter goes to trial.
- May take longer if the court calendar is congested.
- You may have numerous court appearances before trial.
- Can polarize the family.
- Tends to result in lawyer-driven negotiations about allocating parenting responsibility and financial resources.
- You can lose control of decision-making and timing.
- The judge is limited to the applicable law, and cannot take emotion into consideration.
- Decisions by a court are more frequently violated.
- The law does not address all situations, such as requiring a parent to pay for college, provide religious or moral training, or giving you what you may regard as “fair”.
- Lack of cooperation may dramatically escalate financial and emotional costs, and may interfere with the developmental needs of your children.
How can Peace Talks help
PeaceTalks mediation team can often help settle a litigation through their unique approach. We are experienced in working with your attorneys to help resolve the dispute in a cost-effective and impartial way. Book a free Orientation with us!