Keith B. Schulefand, Esq.
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Is divorce litigation right for me? Part 1

Couples who are pursuing a divorce have several options. Some couples choose to settle privately in mediation. Some couples choose a collaborative divorce. However, sometimes neither of these options will work. When a couple feels that they cannot come to a divorce agreement through mediation or collaboration, the other alternative is litigation.

However, there are a few very important things that you and your partner should know about divorce litigation before heading to trial. Litigation is often a grueling process that can be just as difficult, if not more, as working with your ex-spouse. In this two-part series on our blog, we will take a look at a few of the things to consider when deciding whether going to trial is right for you.

Litigation takes a long time

It can take months--sometimes years --for a divorce trial to conclude. Mediation and collaborative divorce are not exactly speedy alternatives, but they often take less time than a trial. If you and your partner litigate your divorce, be prepared to put seemingly endless amounts of time into the process.

It can be emotionally exhausting

Every step along the way to trial is almost sure to be emotionally draining. It may take every ounce of strength that you have. From meeting with your attorney to completing the stacks of paperwork to finally sitting through the court hearing, understand that litigation is not for the faint of heart.

A trial can damage relationships

If you and your spouse already have a strained relationship, a trial is not likely to improve it. In fact, even if the two of you are on good terms, your amicability may take a hit. That's because litigation is necessarily a bit divisive: You and your spouse are on opposing sides, and you are both fighting for your own interests. You should expect that the litigation process may cause bad blood that can damage an already-frail relationship.

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