Court Based Process for Divorce: Avoid it if you can
A divorce case can be fairly simple if both the husband and the wife want to get divorced and they do not have any disagreements about their finances or children: this kind of case is an “uncontested” divorce. In these cases, mediation, a process option for couples separating or divorcing, can keep you out of court and the decision making with the couple divorcing.
However, a divorce case can also be very complicated. This happens if the husband and the wife disagree about financial issues and/or what happens with their children after the divorce is final. These divorces take a much longer time. People call this kind of case a “contested” divorce.
A contested divorce normally needs to be handled in a court based process. And, if you have ever been to court, you know that it is a place most people do not want to be.
In the case of separation and divorce, a court based process is expensive, lengthy, divisive and most of the time, unnecessary. However, when one or both spouses are unable to settle the terms of a separation/divorce and they need that process and the kind of support the court offers. As mentioned, if one spouse is unable to settle and needs “his/her” day in court, there is little you can do to avoid this process.
If there are mental health issues, personality disorders, or domestic violence, you may find yourself in need of the court process and their assistance with resolving the terms of your divorce.
Once you enter a court based process, your level of control decreases. The court will set the dates for appearances and the subpoenas, motions and orders will be drafted and exchanged with the attorneys. The process is lengthy and can last years, even when there are no children involved.
A minority of these cases actually go to trial, 2%-3%, with a majority of them resolved on the “court room steps” by the attorneys or in judge’s chambers.
Money that could have gone to the children and your family will be used up by the process. Children will be assigned attorneys and interviewed. Decisions can and will be made when you are not even in the room. These are just some of the negative side effects of a court based process for divorce.
When possible, utilizing mediation as a process option for couples with or without children together should be a first choice.
Call or email us at The Mediation Center and we can answer all your questions about process options for separation and divorce: 585-269-8140 or firstname.lastname@example.org