The Litigation Option

Litigation is the traditional divorce process of bargaining from specific and often conflicting positions, backed by threats of litigation and the intervention of an impersonal court of law. Rather than communicating directly with each other, you and your spouse communicate almost exclusively through your attorneys.

  1. Both you and your spouse hire different attorneys who represent you and provide legal advice during negotiations and court hearings.
  2. The litigation model is adversarial -- each attorney advocates positions based on the personal wants, needs and viewpoints of his client.
  3. The process often involves the use of formal legal procedures, known as "discovery," to obtain financial and other relevant information.
  4. Discovery may include the use of court-ordered depositions or subpoenas.
    1. A deposition is the testimony taken from a party before a court reporter.
    2. A subpoena is a court order for witnesses, documents, or materials that are believed to be relevant to the issues, to be presented to the court.
  5. During the litigation process you and/or your spouse may hire to support your positions experts that may include psychologists, property appraisers, business valuation analysts, and accountants.
  6. Most divorces that use the litigation model are eventually settled at the proverbial "courthouse steps" but substantial time, money and emotional currency will have been spent.
  7. After the divorce is finalized, many people are dissatisfied with their litigated outcome.
  8. This means they will have to return to court to resolve future disputes.

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