When many people think of divorce, the first thing that comes to mind is sitting in a courtroom and arguing over who gets the house, cars, and kids. However, many more divorces are settled outside of court than at a trial. There are a few really good reasons for this.
First, trials are expensive. To be successful in court, a spouse must prove their case to the judge. This often requires assembling an array of witnesses, some of whom may need to be paid for their time. Because a trial tends to require a lot of work by the attorneys involved, legal fees add up very quickly. Both spouses’ attorneys are typically paid from the same pool of marital funds, thus reducing the amount of money and assets to be divided in the divorce.
Next, a trial is adversarial by nature. The pain caused by the things that are said and the claims made in open court can last a long time. Avoiding a trial may mean sparing both spouses from the damage those words can cause. By opting for Mediation in Smithtown instead of a trial, former spouses can work out their differences in private and come to an agreement on important issues without airing their marital complaints in a courtroom.
Finally, the settlements family court judges decide are often not what either spouse wants. The court uses a formula to determine the division of assets, and that does not take into account which spouse is more attached to the painting that’s been hanging over their mantel for years. When they choose to go to trial instead of mediation, a couple is bound by the decision the judge makes. Spouses have a much better chance of leaving the marriage with the assets that are most important to them if they choose to negotiate with each other through mediation than if they take the case to court.
An experienced attorney such as Todd J. Zimmer Law Firm may explain the pros and cons of mediation to their client so they can make the best decision for their situation. It’s even possible to start with mediation and then go to trial if issues cannot be resolved at the mediation table.