Answered by: Grace A. Jamra of Jamra & Jamra, LLP
There are practical, cost-effective solutions to most issues that arise in a divorce and your attorney can help find the best one to suit your needs. Although court intervention is an option, it is generally the more costly alternative.
For example, once a party has vacated the marital residence, a neutral arbitrator or mediator can resolve simple questions such as changing locks, paying bills or dividing furnishings. A mediator costs less than preparing and opposing pleadings and making court appearances.
With regard to child custody, consult with a therapist specializing in custody disputes, rather than resorting to court intervention for problems relating to pick up and drop off times or holiday or vacation schedules. This can significantly lower the fees incurred.
On matters regarding the exchange of financial documents and information, utilize the services of a discovery referee. The referee will focus on the necessary documents and will schedule deadlines for the production of all requested documents. These steps will help to expedite the divorce process and cost far less than filing discovery motions and making court appearances.
When facing a choice between court intervention and other methods of resolving issues, keep in mind that court intervention will generally cost more and might prolong the process of reaching a resolution.
Related Practice Area: Family Law
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I’m unhappily married with three children. I want a divorce, but I’m afraid the system is skewed in favor of mothers. To complicate matters, I recently pleaded guilty to a DUI (my first). If I file for divorce, what are the odds I won’t be given custody?