Some divorces require litigation

On Behalf of | Jun 5, 2023 | Family law, Litigation

Most divorces are handled through some form of mediation rather than in court, and many family law attorneys will argue against litigation as expensive and time-consuming. This is fine if the split is an amicable one, or the two sides are open to negotiating a fair and equitable solution. Still, litigating a case may be the best way to resolve issues where the spouses do not see eye-to-eye.

Common reasons for using it

The issues and circumstances involved in divorce are unique to the people involved, but there are five common reasons to litigate a divorce:

  • The spouses do not cooperate: Sometimes divorces involve a complete breakdown in communications and actions. The spouses find it impossible to reach common ground on crucial issues like custody and support.
  • One party is irrational: One spouse may have unreasonable expectations or make uncompromising demands. A ruling by a neutral judge may be the only solution for resolving the issue or issues.
  • One party refuses to divorce: A spouse may refuse to grant the divorce for personal or religious reasons, so they fight each step of the process. A judge can listen to arguments and rule on issues to keep the process moving.
  • Unusual circumstances: Couples may have a complex marital estate, with many business interests or assets that are rare or difficult to place a value on (such as art collections).
  • Abuse: Litigation is typically used when there are allegations of spousal or child abuse to investigate and verify the claims.

Not all attorneys handle litigation

Many family law lawyers rarely go to court since most family law cases are handled outside of court, many attorneys rarely if ever go to court. Trial lawyers have a unique skill set based on years of training and experience. If the divorce is likely going to court, a family law attorney with courtroom experience can provide effective representation. Hiring them can also show that the client is serious about getting a fair and equitable settlement regardless of what the other party says or does.