New York Divorce Litigation Lawyer
When couples divorce, there are several issues that the couples must agree upon before the divorce can be finalized. Where a couple has problems that are so deep, so insurmountable that the couple ends up divorcing, it is not surprising that the couple may have a difficult time agreeing to terms of their divorce. Common issues of intense contention when it comes to divorce include division of property, debt allocation, spousal maintenance, and child custody. If these issues cannot be resolved amicably through negotiation or mediation, the terms of the divorce will have to be settled in court. If you find that you and your spouse are unable to agree on divorce terms, contact an experienced New York divorce litigation lawyer, who understands the complexities of contentious divorces and who will fight to ensure that your interests are protected.Divorce Litigation
Litigation is not the only way to settle issues related to a dissolution of a marriage. Litigation typically occurs when the couple was not able to settle their outstanding issues through other means such as through divorce mediation or through the collaborative process. With litigation, each spouse presents their case to a Family Court judge who then comes up with a solution that he (or she) deems fair. Unlike with the mediation or collaborative processes, with litigation, records from third parties can be subpoenaed and witnesses can be questioned.
Either can initiated divorce litigation by serving a divorce petition on the other party. The spouse responds and the process of discovery begins. The court will encourage the former couple to reach a settlement without going to trial. However, if the couples cannot reach a settlement, the case will go to trial. As with any other trial, during a divorce trial the parties can call witnesses and testimony will be taken under oath. Your New York divorce litigation lawyer will have the opportunity to question and cross-examine witnesses. Your spouse’s team will have the same opportunity.
Ultimately, after weighing the testimony of both sides, the judge will make decisions related to property division, spousal maintenance, child custody, and child support.Benefits of Divorce Litigation
While divorce litigation is often viewed as the last resort after negotiation and mediation failed, and while mediation and collaboration are much less contentious than the litigation process, there are significant benefits to litigation to consider.
The primary benefit of litigation and the main reason that couples end up in litigation is that there will be a judge or referee who will have the authority to settle issues that the former couple is unable to resolve on their own, through mediation, or through the collaborative process. Let’s face it, there are instances where the parties are so far apart that negotiation and mediation will simply not work.
Another benefit is that with litigation, your divorce litigation attorney in New York can issue subpoenas to third parties to obtain information related income and financial records. For example, you may be able to obtain records from your spouse’s employer, bank, or credit card companies. Once you have these records you will have an objective picture of your spouse’s finances and your team can question your spouse and the third parties about the records. This may be the only way to get a complete understanding of your spouse’s finances. If you are concerned about your spouse hiding assets or about the amount of debt claimed, then litigation and subpoena power may be critical for you to receive a fair settlement. Reviewing financial records is also important for the court to be able to determine a fair amount of spousal maintenance for you to pay or receive.
While the process of litigating a divorce is time-consuming, it may not necessarily take longer then mediation. During mediation spouses often take their time in submitting records and paperwork. Keep in mind that mediation is a voluntary process. With litigation, the judge will oversee the process and is interested in finding a resolution to proceeding in an efficient manner. To that end, the court will impose deadlines for submitting information including financial disclosures. It will be much more difficult for the parties to take their time in providing information.
If there is so much animosity between the parties that they are unable to or unwilling to cooperate with each other in order to come to an agreement on the outstanding issues, then the only solution may be to litigate settlement terms in court. Animosity can lead to unreasonableness. Even if one person is willing to negotiate and wants to avoid litigation, if the other party chooses to be unreasonable and refuses to agree to fair terms, then the couple may end up arguing their cases in court. Mediation, a voluntary process, will not work if one or both of the parties does not cooperate. While mediation and collaboration require the former couple to be able to communicate with each other in a reasonable way, litigation does not.Contact the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates
If you and your spouse are divorcing and you cannot agree on one or more issue such as child custody, spousal maintenance, asset distribution or debt allocation, or if you have substantial assets, it is critical that you are have experienced representation. The resolution of complicated issues related to custody, maintenance, asset distribution, and debt allocation will greatly impact your personal and financial future. The experienced divorce litigation attorneys serving New York at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates are adept at handling highly complex property division and have successfully represented high net worth clients. Contact us at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW (1-800-696-9529) to schedule a free, no obligation consultation regarding your divorce. We represent clients in the following locations: Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County, and Westchester County.