Divorce is certainly a difficult process on a lot of levels. One thing many people do not spend a lot of time thinking about is the timing once a divorce is filed.
When a divorce is filed in court, most courts are going to set court dates and deadlines. The deadlines could be for the exchange of documents. There could be deadlines for discovery to take place in a case. This discovery could involve interrogatories (written questions) and requests for production (request for documents and evidence from the other party).
Deadlines could also involve dates in which depositions must take place. It also might involve deadlines for disclosing expert witnesses to the other side.
The court also usually wants a case over within a certain time period. The time period can vary based on the state, locality and judge. But, as a general rule, judges generally do not want cases lasting longer than a year. In some courts, the goal could even be much shorter. Thus, trial dates are often set after what is often called a pre-trial conference, settlement conference or status conference (the exact verbiage can vary by state and locality).
One reason for these deadlines is that new cases are being filed. If too many cases are filed and pending, backlogs can be created on a judge’s docket. This can make it hard for parties to conclude and end cases.
These deadlines can often put pressure on parties. It can force them to try to make decisions to resolve their case. This pressure can sometimes result in parties having to appear in court when they might not wish to do so.
It might also result in some parties going through a trial when maybe they would prefer more time to work out a settlement because the clock has ticked out on the case — and the trial date is set per court deadlines. In contrast, collaborative divorce can prevent parties from having to worry about the clock ticking out on a case.
With collaborative divorce, the parties do not file the divorce out of the gates — meaning no court deadlines. Instead, each party hires a collaborative attorney to assist them in the process. Meetings or sessions are then set up at the convenience of the parties (with their attorneys and collaborative professionals) to try to work out a settlement. If a settlement is reached, they then file and conclude the case amicably after the waiting period passes.
Parties are able to take as long as they like in the collaborative process. They do not have the pressure of a clock figuratively ticking in front of them where they have to reach a settlement or else go through a trial. The reality is that while many parties wish to settle, a settlement isn’t always easy and takes time. The collaborative process can give parties the opportunity to take the time they need.
If you are interested in talking to an attorney about a collaborative divorce, Stange Law Firm, PC can help. You can call us at 1-855-805-0595.