In this article, you will learn about:
- How to decide when litigation is right for you.
- Using a cost-benefit analysis to form a long-term strategy in divorce proceedings.
- How our firm helps clients to make decisions that provide them with the best outcomes.
When Is It Worth Taking A Contested Divorce To Trial In New York?
The decision to go to trial isn’t clear for every person. Almost any case can end in settlement. However, litigation can be a necessary tool to help unmoving parties “close the gap” during tense negotiations.
One essential thing to consider when deciding whether to litigate is cost. Divorce trials can run each party anywhere from $10,000 to over $100,000. Of course, good divorce attorneys are fully prepared to handle any case through the end of trial. But litigation will have different pros and cons for each person.
It’s vital to make sure one is aware of the costs associated with trial. Your hard-earned money is nothing to be taken lightly.
Something to keep in mind:
If you find yourself at a roadblock throughout divorce negotiations, consider the cost of trial compared to the “cost” of the roadblock. For example, suppose two parties are $10,000 apart between their respective offers. In this case, would it make sense to spend $10,000 or $20,00 to take that issue to trial?
Here is a real-world example of a case that our firm recently handled:
(The particular dollar amounts have been fictionalized.)
A client visited my office for a consultation on his divorce case. He asked, “What do you think is the likelihood of being able to settle my case?”
We discussed that the only outstanding issue was alimony. His request was for $800 per month in alimony payments. His spouse’s offer was for $400 per month.
I advised my client that, were we to litigate this matter, it would cost $10,000 to $20,000. This tremendous cost seemed to outweigh the benefit of receiving an extra $400 in fixed monthly alimony.
Instead, I suggested that we put forth a settlement offer that cut the difference in half. This new offer only asked for $600 in monthly payments. As a result, the matter was handled out of the courtroom, and my client saved thousands of dollars.
This is only one example of why it can be so important to avoid litigation in certain scenarios. Applying a “big picture” cost-benefit analysis to your strategy can create unparalleled clarity. The reality is, there are some cases where you never want to hear a Judge say, “Counsel, call your first witness.”
On the other hand, some issues just aren’t about the money. While it is still crucial to conduct a cost-benefit analysis, some situations call for litigation. This is especially common when it comes to issues like child custody.
Choosing to pursue litigation is ultimately up to you. Good divorce lawyers believe in the power of making informed decisions. To that end, such lawyers take great care to ensure each client has as much information on hand as well. As such, the parties should be given copies of everything the divorce attorney receives in terms of disclosure – each party should receive the other’s bank statements, credit card statements, etc. so the parties can review the statements themselves. Good divorce attorneys see the relationship with their clients as a collaborative process – one should be informed about factual issues by their clients at least as much as the attorneys are informing clients of what they’ve learned in discovery.
More importantly, good family law attorneys will work aggressively to ensure that you receive a stellar outcome — whatever path you choose to take.
For more information on Litigating A Contested Divorce In New York, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (347) 797-1188 | (914) 362-3080 today.
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