In this article, you will learn:
- How cases generally end up in litigation
- The benefits of limiting court time
- When litigation may be unavoidable
The expectations of the parties are what lead cases into litigation. I have a case right now where I consider the other side to be reasonable and having some reasonable requests in wording on a judgment. My client, however, wants to give them 24 hours to agree to their position, or my client wants me to file a motion and go litigate it. I do not consider my client’s position to be reasonable; I do think it makes sense to try to work it out because there is no guarantee that the judge is going to decide in favor of what my client wants. When we are figuring out the language among ourselves, it is more likely that it is going to be resolved, and maybe my client is not going to be a 100% satisfied, but neither is the other side, but it is more likely to achieve a prompt result by trying to work it out than by saying, “See you in court!”
I find that if both parties are not reasonable and are stuck on their positions, then it is very likely to go to litigation. But it is going to be if they can afford it. Maybe if they are representing themselves, then sure, they can go to trial and they can try and represent themselves. It is not easy to do, and that is why we have lawyers to do it for them. Or if they are represented by a lawyer, they are going to end up in litigation, but they have to ask themselves if they can afford to do that, and often, the answer is no. Clients might need to revisit their expectations and figure out if a settlement is more in line with what they can do because they simply cannot afford to fight through litigation.
When Litigation May Be Necessary?
I try to understand why the parties cannot agree and sometimes it is because they have simply never discussed it. I had a recent case where the parties could not agree on temporary spousal and child support, and part of that is because their previous attorneys had not even discussed it. Once I put the numbers in the support calculator, we realized that the other party who was expecting support was actually going to owe my client some temporary support. We were therefore able to achieve a settlement.
Another thing to do is to try to understand if there is some other emotional reason why the parties cannot reach an agreement. There are many things that just need some attention and some strategy rather than just accepting the idea that these parties are going to go to litigation because they cannot agree. There are many things that can be done to try to encourage that settlement, but it has to come from a place of the attorney informing and educating the client on what is possible. We have to understand what is at stake, what the other side is demanding, and what is likely to happen in a litigation.
The Benefits Of Limiting Exposure To The Courts When It Comes To Deciding On Divorce And Other Family Law Issues
I practice in the family courts, but the courts themselves will tell you that this is not the best venue to decide these issues. It is fair for me to say it is always in the client’s and the children’s best interest to try to figure out what works best for them, rather than to have a judge who likely has zero family law experience decide for them or even if they are experienced in family law, they are not experienced with these people and they have a very limited amount of time.
To the extent you can reach an agreement with the other party, you may not love it, but at least you are going to compromise, as opposed to if you go to court and just get a ruling.
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