My client experience has taught me that most people want to avoid hiring a family lawyer, never mind going to court (sometimes at great personal cost). Avoiding family court is always ideal, but there are times when you will have to go to court to achieve a desirable outcome. It is always preferable to reach a resolution to parenting, support and property issues through negotiation or mediation and then put those agreements into a domestic contract (most commonly called a Separation Agreement), but that requires both parties to participate in good faith.
Most clients want to avoid a court due to the increased cost of the separation or divorce process, which is understandable. Unfortunately, many times it can be more time consuming and expensive to avoid going to court. Each circumstance is unique and after we discuss and
examine your particular situation, I will have a clear idea on the best course of action and tell you directly and explain why in detail. Sometimes there is an emergency situation, which means going to court is necessary, including:
- When there is domestic violence and police are involved
- A conflict in the family home that is having a terrible impact on the children
- A mental health emergency
- When one party is spending all of the family money or threatening to sell property to avoid a fair division of assets.
- Threat of taking a child out of country
In these instances, there are processes available to get in front of a judge quickly to get an order that temporarily resolves the emergency.
Another situation when it is necessary to go to court is when one party refuses to acknowledge that you want to separate or divorce. This is more common than many people think. In this case, only a court case will get their attention, and if that fails the court can make orders at an uncontested trial.
The third reason family court is necessary is when there is no possibility of one, or both, parties agreeing to any reasonable compromises or making outrageous demands that have no basis in family law. Getting a divorce or separation is never easy, and emotions run high between the two parties. Family law can feel unfair, resulting in some people simply refusing to accept the reality of their situation.
My experience at these negotiations has shown me that these tactics are done only for a few, but important reasons. First, the unreasonable party is trying to delay the separation or divorce process, sometimes with the hope that enough time will pass where a reconciliation could take place.
Another reason is that the unreasonable party is trying to hurt the other party by wasting their time and money and trying to break them spiritually and/or financially. This tactic is petty and childish and basically comes out to “You hurt me, so I am going to hurt you.”
This is where I come in – I know when to go to court and how to do it efficiently and practically. I am not promising a smooth and quick process, but at least once you are in court, you have a timeline, a process and judge who can make final decisions. In fact, 90 per cent of people who
start a family court process enter into Consent Orders and only 10 per cent end up at a contested motion or trial.
The good news is, you have options. When we meet, we will run down the entire list of your options and find the best plan of action for your situation, you and your family.