If your divorce goes to trial, you need an experienced divorce lawyer to protect you and your family. Litigation is what most people think about when they are seeking a divorce. Everyone has encountered divorce court stories from family, friends, or personal experience.
Although this is the common notion about divorce, only about 5-10% of divorces are fully litigated in court. Most divorces are settled through negotiation, collaboration, or mediation. However, there are times when litigation is the only option to resolve your family law matter and you will need an experienced attorney, like Tania K. Harvey.
When might litigation be the right option for my divorce?
The most common reason that a family law case will go to court is that the parties have pursued other options (collaboration, mediation, or negotiation) and they have not been able to reach a settlement agreement. Child custody, division of marital property, and support can be contentious issues and many people find it difficult to compromise or set aside personal feelings in order to move their case forward.
Other circumstances may be that outside matters, such as drug or alcohol abuse, criminal activity, or mental health issues, prevent partners from working together and negotiating a reasonable and fair agreement.
Sometimes, when one person has a position of power, like controlling all of the finances, it might be difficult for that person to give up that control. In those circumstances, courtroom litigation may be the only solution to ensure assets are divided equitably.
A divorce lawyer is an experienced and skilled negotiator and will try to settle all issues outside of court. However, there may be an impasse on one or two issues and that means the case will go into litigation.
How does litigation work?
If you reach the point where a trial is necessary for unresolved issues, your divorce lawyer may need to do additional discovery around those issues. This may include gathering additional evidence and documents, taking additional depositions, or reviewing the opposing party’s case. The goal is for your lawyer to create a compelling argument for why your perspective will result in the best outcome. This can be a time consuming process and can be frustrating. However, it is essential to ensure your case is properly prepared for the hearing.
At the hearing, the judge will hear testimony from both sides. Each divorce lawyer will make their case and present applicable evidence about the issue(s) being disputed. Once the judge has listened to the testimony, he/she will make a determination on what is a fair settlement within the bounds of the law. The conclusion the judge makes in binding. That means that both parties are stuck with the decision, whether you like it or not. This makes courtroom litigation the most risky approach to divorce because a stranger is making a decision that will affect the rest of your life.
At The Law Office of Tania K. Harvey we will do everything we can to keep your case out of the courtroom. The time, money, and lack of decision making power make courtroom litigation a last resort. However, if that avenue needs to be pursued, we are relentless in the courtroom and are adept at presenting a case, so the judge has no other option but to render a decision in our clients favor.