Benefits of Divorce Litigation in High-Asset Divorce
While it is almost always better for parties facing a divorce to settle their issues, many times a fair settlement cannot be obtained without the need for financial discovery to ensure that all tangible and intangible marital assets have been identified and fairly valued.
One of the most important benefits of divorce litigation (as opposed to the mediation or collaborative law process) is the ability of a party’s attorney to issue discovery subpoenas to third parties to obtain records related to a spouse’s income, employment, businesses, credit card and bank accountants and other such records from individuals or business entities that are not parties to the divorce proceedings. These third parties are not interested in the divorce litigation, and as such, they possess a degree of objectivity and credibility.
Once these documents are obtained, the divorce litigation process enables a party’s attorney to examine the other spouse and even third parties under oath for the purpose of obtaining answers to questions regarding particular financial transactions, living expenses, business deductions, investments, missing funds, and other such financial matters.These procedures are not available in mediation or the collaborative divorce process, which
These procedures are not available in mediation or the collaborative divorce process, which relies on the parties being totally honest with respect to financial disclosure. If the divorcing parties are W2 wage earners, then their case might be well-suited for mediation or collaborative divorce, but if there’s a family business, for instance, then litigation is probably the right choice.
Another benefit of litigation is the opportunity to involve a judge, court attorney, or a referee to resolve issues between the parties that they might not be able to resolve on their own.
Even if you do not expect a high-conflict divorce, litigation may still be the right choice, as it provides your attorney with the ability to ensure that compulsory financial disclosure is completed. If you do not file for divorce until you reach a settlement, you may never truly know if your spouse is being honest and open regarding expenses, assets, and debts. The court process empowers attorneys to serve subpoenas, as well as engage neutral professionals, such as accountants and psychologists, to evaluate issues in your case relating to finances and child custody.
Using Litigation to Resolve Your Divorce Issues
Litigation is critical in scenarios where one spouse is dragging his or her feet to get the process going, or complete it. The court will impose deadlines for exchange of financial information. If you think that that your spouse will not willingly share all financial documents with you, and with complete transparency in a timely manner, litigation is essential.
In the case of an “unfit parent,” more often than not, the unfit parent will not understand nor admit to the severity of their actions and/or issues. The unfit parent is also unlikely to believe that their issues place their children at risk, which would prevent them from being awarded legal or physical custody of their children, absent some guidance from the court and their own attorney.
Some people believe that there is always a trial in divorce litigation, which is not true: Settlement is always a possibility in divorce litigation. In fact, most divorce matters settle before, or during trial. If you have a complex financial case, trial preparation may be the key to achieving a most favorable settlement, as it will arm you and your attorneys with all of the financial information that you need to establish and prove your case.
If There Has Been Domestic Violence…
If there has been domestic violence, or if there is any imbalance of power in the marital relationship, a negotiated settlement outside of court is virtually impossible. A Nolletti Law Group family law attorney can protect an intimidated spouse from being bullied into an unfavorable settlement during divorce litigation, and the disadvantaged spouse will take comfort in knowing that the court is protecting them and their children.