Family Law Litigation
Family Law Litigation
In its simplest form, litigation can be defined as the process of carrying
out a lawsuit. In family law cases, you begin the litigation process by filing a
motion/ complaint in the County Family Court. The filing of your complaint
begins the litigation process. If needed, a temporary restraining order may be
obtained to protect the persons and property involved in the divorce. Once your
case is in the court system, you are constrained by the court's docket. If there
are numerous complaints pending while your complaint is also pending, there
is the possibility that your complaint will move very slowly through the court
system. Thus, you may have to wait an unknown amount of time to gain
closure in your case.
Numerous temporary orders can be filed in an effort to provide protection
and support to the parties. If there are children involved, temporary orders are
drafted regarding the handling of the parties' personal or real property during
the litigation process. Temporary orders can also include physical
examinations, drug testing, psychological evaluations and numerous other
orders aimed at helping the parties prepare for trial.
The discovery process involves a series of procedures aimed at obtaining
information that will be useful for mediation and trial. Often times, this process
is in the form of written discovery, which involves depositions, sworn
testimony, subpoenas for production of documents to the parties and nonparties,
and a variety of other techniques used to gather information.
At the completion of the discovery process, the parties enter into a
pretrial scheduling order. Mediation is generally mandatory prior to the actual
trial. Pre-trial mediation aims to create an agreement upon division of assets
and property, an appropriate parenting plan and various other issues
surrounding your case.
The trial will vary in duration depending on the number of issues and
complexity of the case; it could take a few days or could even last a few weeks.
Litigation pits you against your spouse or your child's other parent.
Many times when you and the opposing party cannot work out the details of
your particular situation, you must pursue litigation. In the family law
litigation process, the family court judge will make the decisions regarding your
case and will put those decisions in writing in the form of a court order. Once a
court order has been issued, both parties are be legally obligated to abide by
the terms of the court's order. If either party does not abide by the court's
order, serious consequences may follow, including fines or even jail. Family law
litigation is best suited for people who feel they cannot possibly solve their
issues through mediation or collaborative law processes. It is also best suited
for cases involving sexual abuse, domestic violence and other extreme and
emotionally stressful issues.
Because a judge is making all decisions regarding your future
activities and the activities of your child, there is also the possibility that
neither party will be satisfied with the conclusion of your case.
Contact us today!