Top Rated Las Vegas Divorce Lawyers
BY: 0 Comments

The start of contested litigation involving child custody, the division of assets and liabilities, or an award of alimony usually provokes every client to ask: “How long will it take?”  The answer to that question is determined by many moving parts – a judicial procedure, the lawyers, and the motivations of the clients themselves.  Litigation is almost always expensive, time-consuming, emotionally demanding, and even under the most favorable circumstances, can be uncertain in result. The judges who sit in judgment of family matters can be of uneven capability, and given prevailing caseloads, they often develop only a superficial and imprecise understanding of you, your spouse, your children, and your financial circumstances.  In most cases, it is generally a fool’s errand to expect justice and vindication at a trial, because almost never does a “winner” emerge.  The process is not a zero sum game.  This highlights the benefit of negotiated settlement as rapidly as possible after both sides master the operative facts of their underlying case.

Settlement occurs in greater than 95% of family matters.  The key is moving the case to settlement before both sides unnecessarily hemorrhage money and emotion while focused on the perception that their disputes are “winnable.”  In fact, such an objective is rarely achievable.  Experience suggests that the best resolution of a family dispute is one that is reached cooperatively, with both sides empowered in achieving an outcome.  An old legal saw states that the best settlements are those which each side is equally dissatisfied with.

As beneficial as settlement is, there are two circumstances where the case dynamics make it problematic.  The first situation is litigation involving the geographical relocation of minor children.  A contested relocation case almost inevitably involves a profound change in the quantity and quality of one parent’s relationship with his or her children.  To an involved parent, the cross-country move of a 10-year-old child can be reasonably perceived as a zero sum game, with a winner and a loser.  This makes such cases inordinately difficult to settle short of an evidentiary hearing.

The second situation where settlement is extremely difficult is where there are simply not enough financial resources to go around.  This often arises where financial reversals or irresponsibility have occurred.  In short, it is challenging to agree on the parameters of a settlement where the deal posits that each side has to take less than they need to accommodate their respective standards of living.

Comments are closed.