Along with the stress of family transitions is the stress (emotional – financial – other) of being involved in the legal system. This includes having to hire an attorney to help you through the minefield of the divorce / legal separation process. [See “Do I need an attorney?” in Commonly Asked Questions]
There are different types of family law litigation. In some cases there is not much in dispute and the parties are able to work with each other and their attorneys to come to agreement on most, if not all issues. They “cooperate” by voluntarily exchanging information and having an open dialogue between the attorneys and the parties.
The most extreme type of litigation is where there is a complete lack of productive communication between the parties, the parties are unable or unwilling to work together to come to a resolution that reflects what they need and desire, and the parties are willing to delegate the decision-making authority to the courts to tell them what to do.
Some couples simply are unable to cooperate with each other to reach a mutually agreeable resolution of their case and must have a third party make the interim and final decisions. Our experience is that in cases that go to trial we have never seen a case where, after hearing the Judge make a ruling, both parties left the litigation process happy or content. In many cases this discontent leads to years for future discord and expense as clients try to undo what they feel happened to them in the litigation process.
This litigation style is marked by a complete lack of cooperation between the parties and their attorneys. As a result, rather than a voluntary disclosure of all the information needed to make a decision, either by the Judge or the parties, the attorneys will rely on the court rules to work through this process. This can involve the filing of motions with the court, sending out subpoenas, interrogatories, and requests for production, hiring experts, and taking depositions of the parties and others.
As you can see, or as you have already experienced, this litigation style is very different from amicable cases where the parties are able to handle the separation and legal process in a respectful, cooperative manner.
Regardless of what style of litigation your case takes, because we understand that the pain and stress of a family transition can be compounded by the legal process, we will provide you thoughtful guidance, deliberate advocacy and civil problem-solving in order to help reduce the stress inherent in the litigation process.
If you have questions, or are seeking someone to consult with during your litigation process, please contact us for assistance.