When to Pursue a Divorce Trial
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Most spouses are aware that there are alternatives to litigated divorce. By exploring options such as mediation or collaborative law, spouses can experience many benefits. These include lower legal fees, a faster overall process, less stress, lower psychological impact for any children involved, and greater levels of privacy. But despite the redeeming qualities of mediation and collaborative law, sometimes spouses are left with no other option than to pursue a litigated divorce. But under what circumstances might you be forced to go to trial, and what can you do to pursue a positive outcome in this situation?
When Negotiations Fall Through
One of the most obvious reasons to pursue a litigated divorce is a breakdown in negotiations. These negotiations may occur with the help of a mediator or attorneys qualified in collaborative law. Either way, failed negotiations require spouses to abandon their attorneys and hire new family law attorneys before heading to trial. Negotiations may break down for several reasons, but it is usually due to one spouse’s stubbornness and unwillingness to cooperate and compromise.
When One Spouse Does Not Actually Want a Divorce
If one spouse objects to the entire concept of divorce, litigation may be the only real way to achieve results. Faced with the prospect of an ending relationship, the spouse may play for time and delay negotiations constantly in a vain effort to maintain the marriage. They may also delay in some different ways, such as failing to provide documentation or failing to respond to the petition for divorce.
In this situation, litigation may be necessary to force the spouse to make real progress in the divorce. If spouses continue to act uncooperative in court, they will face real legal consequences instead of simply eliciting frustration from their exes.
Marriages Involving Serious Misconduct
If you have experienced serious misconduct during your marriage, you may feel like you have no other choice but to pursue litigation. You might feel like settling matters behind closed doors allows your ex to escape consequences for everything they have done. You might prefer to force your spouse to face a judge and a jury, as this can provide you with a sense of justice and closure. You might also feel a sense of vindication knowing that your spouse’s misconduct has gone on public record.
If you have experienced misconduct, you may also have an advantage going into a divorce. But if your spouse does not seem to be taking their past actions seriously during negotiations, you may have to prove that the misconduct actually occurred to experience these advantages. For example, your spouse might have engaged in rampant substance abuse during the marriage.
If your spouse dismisses these accusations and refuses to factor them into the separation agreement, a trial might be the only way to ensure they experience real consequences for their actions. Crucially, these consequences may involve custody arrangements. It is important to note that the burden of proof always lies with the accuser.
The same logic applies to incidents of domestic abuse. Often, it helps to have these incidents documented and recorded in court. These records can be accessed and referenced at a later date if necessary. These records may be especially useful if domestic violence continues even after the divorce. For example, your ex might commit acts of violence against your children while sharing custody. If this occurs, you can point to the originally documented incidents of violence during your marriage. This helps judges understand how serious the situation has become, which may lead to supervised or heavily restricted parental visits from that point onward.
Divorce is Often Settled Out of Court
It is important to realize that even if a divorce goes to trial, it can still be settled out of court at any time during the legal process. Often, even the most stubborn spouses readily return to the negotiation table when they see that you are serious about pursuing litigation.
Where Can I Find a Qualified Family Law Attorney in San Bernardino?
If you have been searching for an experienced family law attorney in San Bernardino, look no further than the Law Office of Joyce Holcomb. The only way to accurately determine whether you need to pursue a litigated divorce is to book a consultation with an experienced divorce attorney. During this consultation, we can review your unique circumstances and determine the best route forward. From there, you can get started with an effective action plan and pursue your ideal post-marriage life in a confident, dignified manner.