The adversarial litigation model has been in place for centuries.
This is the traditional approach: People file lawsuits and go to court. Even with other options available today, all of the rules of procedures and rules of evidence are shaped around the adversarial litigation model.
In family law, traditional litigation should only be a “fall back” option when all other options fail. This is because oaf the tremendous emotional and financial toll that it takes on both parties.
The traditional model assumes that the parties in a dispute have been unable to reach agreement voluntarily and, further, that they are enemies in a contest where one will “win” and one will “lose”. Lawyers act on behalf of each party, and there is no standard approach among attorneys. The method and behavior of one lawyer can be quite different from another. Though a judge will require decorous behavior in the courtroom, it is not unusual for parties in a traditional litigation situation to feel emotionally abused, tricked, or otherwise mistreated as the contest unfolds outside and inside the courtroom. Generally, this model fosters very negative feelings on all sides.
Besides being emotionally and mentally stressful, traditional litigation can be very expensive. A lot of preparation time is required of an attorney representing a party, and this time is billed at high hourly rates.
A person facing a family law conflict should consider all other options before pursuing the traditional litigation model. Though there is usually some courtroom component required (e.g., obtaining a divorce decree), if both parties can come to agreement using other models first, the process will be greatly shortened, cost less, and be less stressful to all family members.
If you do find that the traditional litigation model must be followed, it’s important to select an attorney who will help you take the lowest cost, least conflict-oriented path through the process while at the same time serving your interests.
Would you like to find out more about how Shannon Law approaches traditional litigation?
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