Litigation

 

The litigation model is what most people would call a "traditional" divorce process.  The parties and their lawyers assume from the beginning of the case that a judge or jury will hear the case and decide the outcome of the parties' divorce.  The case proceeds according to the law and the rules that apply in the courtroom. 

Although almost all family law cases settle before trial, there is always the chance that the couple will need a judge or jury to make decisions for them.  Specific, formal procedures for collecting information, called "discovery," will be served on each party.  Information that is not revealed in response to specific discovery requests will not be allowed into evidence if there is a trial, forcing clients to "air their dirty laundry" just in case they need it.  And even information that is revealed might not be allowed into evidence - everything must be played by the rules.

Presenting evidence in court and getting a ruling from a judge or jury is the only sure way to complete a divorce. There are deadlines imposed by court rules and orders that are designed to move a case forward.  Clients who can't come to an agreement will have a judgment imposed on them, even if they refuse to participate in the legal process. 

Preparing for and going to trial is hard on clients, and harder on their children.  Clients who might end up in court are always on guard and hesitate to make settlement offers or do things the otherwise might do for their spouse for fear that it might hurt their chances of winning at trial.  But unlike other litigation between companies or strangers, family law trials rarely produce clear winners and losers.  More often than not, neither party gets what they really wanted, despite the extensive time and financial resources they have invested in the process. 

To learn more about how the lawyers and staff at The Law Offices of Jennifer Tull can help you if you need a traditional divorce process, click below.

Strengths:

Litigation will produce an end to a family law case if the clients can't come to an agreement

Rules and court orders provide a structure to the information-gathering process

Properly conducted, the discovery process could uncover information a client had not previously known about

If evidence is properly presented, a judge or jury will apply Texas law to the facts making sure that the clients' legal rights are enforced

Weaknesses:

Litigation focuses on "winning" rather than on finding solutions to problems

The discovery process forces clients to air their dirty laundry, putting a strain on post-divorce relationships

A case that goes all the way to trial and judgment will be considerably more expensive than other options.  Even cases that settle before trial will have incurred the expense of discovery, and possibly mediation.
 
Decisions about children and property are made by strangers who have never seen the clients before, have a limited amount of information, and will not have to live with the consequences of their judgments

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