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When Going to Trial Makes Sense for Divorce
Divorce courts use the same basic principles as other courts when dealing with a dispute between two parties. More often than not, these rules do not work well, and divorcing couples find that they are better off resolving their issues outside of court rather than letting a judge decide.
However, there are also times when mediation and collaborative law do not work. Therefore, it is best that a divorcing couple consults with their divorce attorneys to determine if going to trial is the right resolution technique for their case, as it may help avoid unnecessary delays and expenses in their divorce.
What are the Alternatives to a Trial?
There are three ways couples can avoid going to court for their divorce, which include:
Working together. Sometimes couples will have an amicable divorce. This involves the couple working and reaching a divorce settlement outside of court. All debts and assets are discussed and decided, and the only time they are seen in front of a judge is to get approval on their settlement agreement.
Mediation. Mediation is done with a neutral third-party, known as a mediator. This individual facilitates the parties to agreements on debts, spousal support, custody matters, child support, and the distribution of assets.
Collaborative law. This method allows both parties to select an attorney that is trained in collaborative law. There is a written agreement from both spouses that they will come to an agreement without going to court. If either party breaks that agreement and insists on going to court, then the collaborative attorney must withdraw from the case, and each spouse will have to retain a new attorney and start the process over.
When Going to Trial Makes Sense
While the court favors alternative dispute resolutions, there are times when cases do not qualify. These situations can include:
Combative Counsel – Sometimes it is not the spouses causing the issues; instead, it is an overly aggressive divorce attorney. If counsel is combative and refuses to produce an agreement outside of court, the case will most likely go to trial.
Verbal or Physical Abuse – When there is a history of abuse, the parties may not be able to settle the issues and may result in the case going to trial.
Communication Errors – Sometimes there are spouses who refuse to cooperate during alternative resolution methods. These spouses may show an obvious hesitance or an outright refusal to work toward an agreement. In these cases, going to trial and allowing a judge to decide is necessary.
Missing Spouse – Not all divorces involve both spouses. There are times one spouse will file for divorce after the other leaves the country or even the state. In these instances, a mutual agreement can obviously not be reached; therefore, the spouse must go to trial if they want to dissolve the marriage.
Consult a Divorce Attorney Before Assuming a Trial is the Right Method for Your Case
Even if you think trial is the only way to resolve your divorce, speak with a divorce attorney to assess the circumstances of your case. The attorneys at McMichen, Cinami & Demps can help you explore your options for settlement. Call us at 407-898-2161 or fill out an online contact form to schedule your consultation.