The term divorce litigation means taking the case all the way to court to be decided by a judge. There are many options in how parties may choose to settle a divorce. Litigation is the route taken when parties cannot or should not work together, and issues instead have to be resolved by a judge.
A litigated divorce is the option for two parties who are unable to resolve their issues outside of court. Though many people may choose this option from the beginning, others come to litigation after unsuccessfully trying other avenues such as mediation.
The litigation process is started when one party files for divorce and retains an attorney. The other party is then served with the filing, and retains his or her own attorney. Speaking through their lawyers, the parties attempt to come to agreements on issues such as spousal and child support, division of community and quasi-community property, child custody and visitation. If the parties cannot come to an agreement on any of the topics, those issues are argued in front of the court, and the judge makes a final ruling on those matters.
Litigation is often the only option for parties who cannot get along, but before ruling out other avenues, here are some topics to consider:
- Privacy. Generally speaking, all pleadings are subject to public record.
- The Cost. Litigation is the most expensive divorce option. Each spouse has their own attorney, and that attorney bills by the hour. Depending on how contested the divorce becomes, litigation can be extremely costly.
- How it Ends. Litigation ends upon the judge issuing a final decision. Either party then has the right to appeal the order.
- The Relationship. Litigation may be the only option for parties who are unable to maintain civility and fairness during the process. If this cannot be achieved through collaboration, it is best to leave the matters to be decided fairly by the court.
Attorneys at Levine Family Law Group are experienced litigators. They are familiar with local rules, judges and other professionals such as forensic accountants and child custody evaluators who often play an important role in the outcome of your litigated case. Please contact our office to set up a consultation to discuss your matter today.
Our Areas of Practice
Adult Child Support
Assisted Reproduction Technology Litigation
Child Custody and Visitation
Child Custody Mediations
Child Support Arrearage
Divorce with Children with Special Needs
Domestic Partnership Dissolution
Enforcement (or Set-Aside) of Pre-Marital and Post-Marital Agreements
Establishing Paternity or Maternity
Family Law Coaching
Gender and Name Changes
High Asset Divorce
Independent Legal Advice
Judgment Set Aside
Non-Marital Relationship Dissolution