In today’s blog post from the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC we will conclude our three day topic of discussing what factors/circumstances in your divorce can drive up the costs associated with the case. If you believe that any of the issues that we discuss today are relevant to you and your family it is a great idea to contact our office today to set up a consultation with one of our licensed family law attorneys. These consultations are free of charge and can really help you to formulate a game-plan for your divorce.
Provide information to your spouse or risk delaying your divorce
Delays in divorce cases don’t just mean more time spent involved in your divorce, but it means alienating your spouse and driving up the costs of your case. Keep in mind that time in a divorce means money as well. There is a direct relationship between how long your case takes and how much it costs you. Family law attorneys, for the most part, bill you by the hour and the more hours spent working through tedious issues means more time spent billing you.
While there are many tedious issues that you will face in your divorce they do not have to be time consuming or expensive, necessarily. For instance, in most divorces it is required that you and your spouse exchange information that is designed to allow each side to understand where the other is coming from as far as discussions about money, decisions about community property and other commonly encountered situations in a divorce.
This can be done informally via an agreement between you and your spouse or it can be done formally through the court in Discovery. Discovery has certain deadlines that are attached to it and responses to discovery requests are typically due within thirty days. Most of the time the parties will abide by this thirty day time limit, or will agree to extend it by a certain number of days via an agreement between the attorneys.
However, if an extension cannot be agreed to or is not sought and answers are not provided to these requests for information your attorney would need to file a motion to compel with the court. The motion would tell your judge about the failure to respond to your request for information and would then seek a hearing on the matter in court. If the judge agrees with your motion your spouse would be forced to turn over the requested responses in a certain period of time.
Regardless, this process takes time and costs money. Often times your attorney’s fees end up being paid by your spouse for having to go to court but this can take time. In many situations your spouse may turn over most of the answers that you need but not all of them. This can further drive up the costs of your divorce as your attorney will have to seek responses from opposing counsel on a variety of subjects that are relevant to your divorce.
Don’t use a divorce to try and save your marriage
Unless there is a very good reason for a court to waive the requirement, your divorce will take at least sixty days to complete. A state law requires that the earliest you can get divorced after filing the case is the sixty first day. The legislature’s purpose in instituting the law is to provide you and your spouse with a “cooling off” period in order to determine that a divorce is actually what you want to pursue. Sometimes people make rash decisions and then later regret having made them. A 60 day wait means that you have some time to consider your options, even after you’ve filed for divorce.
I can count on one hand the divorces I have had direct experience with that have resulted in the parties reconciling and getting back together. It would be great if every married couple was happy and engaged in a loving and productive marriage. It would be great if lawyers like me didn’t have to work to divide families. The simple truth is that divorces have become more commonplace and are usually necessary for one reason or another. Most people who start a divorce, finish the divorce.
If your motivation in delaying or drawing out your divorce is to provide you and your spouse an opportunity reconcile you are going about it the wrong way. You and your spouse are welcome to attempt to work out your marital issues during your divorce but it is advisable that you attempt to do so prior to filing for divorce. There are many options for you to pursue with your spouse like counseling, therapy or simply changing the circumstances that are creating division between the two of you. This can take time, however, and time during a divorce means money.
It is not a smart idea to string out your divorce in the hopes of working a reconciliation with your spouse. It is not a good atmosphere to do it, first of all. Second of all, there are deadlines associated with divorce cases and you are going to be propelled into getting a divorce by the court and your attorneys. Before you file for divorce make sure that you are committed to starting and completing the process in an efficient and fair manner.
Court is not the be all, end all of your divorce
Many spouses, possibly yourself, believe that you have been wronged by your spouse and as a result you want to have your issues addressed in court. Ideas about fairness, justice, etc. may be running through your mind as you envision yourself standing before a judge and recounting the low points of your marriage.
Your reality would likely not match up with your fantasy, however. First of all most divorces are completed in a mediator’s office rather than a courtroom. Your dream of addressing your spouse in open court is somewhat far-fetched. The costs and time commitments associated with preparing for a trial can be significantly higher than the rest of your case. It is not uncommon for a one or two day trial to end up costing more than the preceding 6-8 months of your divorce.
Unless it is absolutely necessary, going to court should be avoided. You are not likely to achieve a significantly better result for you and your family in court than in mediation. What you are likely to do is fatten the wallet of your attorney and stress yourself out a great deal more than is needed. If you want to attend a divorce trial, the family law courts are open five days a week, eight hours a day. Take the day off work to attend a trial for someone else who is not you.
Questions about divorce? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC
Divorces are serious and affect more than just you and your spouse. However, that does not mean that you cannot find a middle ground on most (if not all) of the issues that are relevant in your particular case. The attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan, PLLC understand that it is difficult to find the resources to hire an attorney and we want you to know that we take our responsibility to efficiently manage your resources very seriously.
Our experienced family law attorneys have handled a wide variety of divorce cases and it is likely that your situation is one that we have encountered before. To learn more about our office, our values and the services we can provide you and your family please contact us today. We offer free of charge consultations six days a week with a licensed family law attorney.
It is not an easy decision to file for divorce. It is not easy, either, to have to respond to a divorce that your spouse has filed. We understand that you are going to have a lot of thoughts and concerns racing through your mind during the initial stages in your divorce. We would be honored to sit down with you to address those concerns and go over a plan for your divorce.