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  • Writer's pictureLori Hammer

The Pros of Litigation

Divorce offers opportunities to make a fresh start and improve your life. For help with your divorce in Chicago, call Angela Larimer at 773-370-0600.

Sometimes a divorce settlement or mediation is not the ideal route for couples going through a divorce. Divorce can be very messy and extremely emotional for one or both parties. Litigation can provide a clear outcome for parties who vehemently disagree with each other because they are so emotionally invested and feel that they are right. A public forum allows for a judge to clearly consider the facts and evidence in order to determine the right resolution for both sides. Litigation provides an atmosphere that creates structure and order to an otherwise potentially chaotic, toxic and overall hostile divorce.

While litigation may take a little longer than mediation or a settlement, it offers each party an opportunity to do their due diligence and provide all of the facts and evidence necessary for the judge to rule on. The litigation process may entail hiring private investigators, a notary, an actuary, or other professional experts in a specific field. Going to trial may mean that your case will benefit from having experts to analyze financial risks or to provide evidence that would not have otherwise been discovered. It may also entail developing a character witness list and investigating individual witnesses to establish patterns and habits of parties in order to help support or discredit certain claims and accusations. Furthermore, litigation offers the advantages of subpoena power. What does this mean? If spouses are trying to hide their assets, litigation enables the parties to compel the other party to disclose their financial records. This process can include their banking records, employment, income, taxes, recent sales of assets within the past two years, among other necessary evidence. Finally, when two parties struggle to agree on a multitude of issues, it can be beneficial to have the courts assign the court dates because it gives structure for both parties to follow and be in attendance of.

Litigation also creates a fair setting for the child(ren) in the middle of the divorce. When one or both parents are blinded by their emotions, they may feel that they are the ‘better parent’ and that they ‘deserve’ or are ‘entitled’ to the majority of the parenting time and/or parenting responsibilities. The fact of the matter is that, with the exception of abusive or negligent parenting, the majority of children need both of their parents in their life. Having a judge present to review the evidence, unbiasedly, can not only be in the best interest of the resolution for both parties, but it can also be in the best interest of the child(ren).

There are pros and cons to each path, but only you know what is best for you and/or your child(ren). It is always best that you consider all of your potential options (litigation, mediation, or collaboration) so that you feel prepared and know what to expect moving forward. Discuss all of your options and potential outcomes with your attorney so that you have a more concrete understanding and can make a better and more educated decision for how you would like to proceed with your divorce.

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