Litigation is the traditional model of resolving disputes, where the parties and their attorneys go to Court to settle their differences.
- The case is initiated by a court filing
- The parties and/or their attorneys may have several court appearances to address various legal issues
- Unlike out of court processes where the clients set the pace of the case, in litigation the court has time standards that the parties and counsel must follow
- The parties may resolve their case by agreement, but if they are unable to do so they have a trial before a judge
Although litigation is appropriate and/or necessary in some cases, it can be (but is not always) the lengthier and costlier of the various methods of resolving divorce and other family law conflicts both emotionally and financially.
Litigation may be more disruptive of relationships that parties may want to preserve going forward where communication after the divorce is essential, such as when children are involved. However, litigation may be necessary to establish boundaries and limits especially in cases where there are restraining orders, dissipation of income or assets and the need for protection of what remains, or the need for judicial intervention for other purposes.
The Courthouse doors are always open to parties needing the protection of the court. Even if a party initially chooses an out of court dispute resolution process, if they are unable to resolve their differences out of court; court intervention may be necessary when parties reach impasse. Litigation can be a client’s first choice, or choice of last resort
For more information about litigation, see our Frequently Asked Questions and our Resource page.