If you have decided to file for divorce, or are a party to a divorce proceeding, you may want to resolve matters, if at all possible, without the need to go to trial. Divorce litigation can be costly, in terms of time, money and emotions. There are options that will not only minimize stress, anxiety and expense, but will give you greater control over how your differences are resolved. This blog post looks at the ways you can avoid divorce litigation.
The first step to minimizing the risk of divorce litigation is to fully understand the costs of taking matters to trial. If you choose to dispute everything, and require a judge or jury to determine the outcome, you will necessarily go through a lengthy process. Once a divorce complaint has been filed, the court will establish a discovery schedule. This sets forth the amount of time that will be spent gathering all relevant information to determine child custody and visitation, child support, alimony or spousal support, and the division of marital debts and assets. In most instances, there will be requests for production of documents, as well as depositions of parties and other relevant witnesses. Your lawyer will expect to be paid for every task they handle for you. If they draft a request for production of documents, or a response to such a request, you will be billed. When they review all documents, you will be billed. When they appear on your behalf at a deposition, meeting or hearing, you will be billed. And, in addition to the expense, such actions take time.
Once you understand the cost of divorce litigation in terms of time and money, you should take a look at alternative means of dispute resolution, including negotiated settlements, mediation, and the collaborative approach to divorce. In a negotiated settlement, you and your counsel work directly with your ex-spouse and opposing counsel to work out agreements governing custody and support, as well as property matters. In mediation, you work with a neutral third party, who facilitates efforts to find mutually beneficial solutions. In the collaborative law process, you and your ex-spouse agree to try to resolve all matters without the intervention of the court. Your lawyers can also participate in the process.
The common component of successful negotiation efforts, mediation and collaborative law attempts is a willingness to work with your former spouse to find solutions that work for both of you. This means you may have to identify those items that are not negotiable and those about which you can be flexible. In all matters related to your minor children, however, you should always give priority to what is in their best interests.
Contact the Law Office of Taylor & Boguski
To schedule a free initial consultation with experienced New Jersey family law attorneys, contact Taylor & Boguski by e-mail or call 800-404-5299. To learn more about our practice, visit our practice area overview page.