Proceeding to Court is generally the most time-consuming, hostile and costly technique to resolve Family Law issues. However, in some cases, it is unavoidable. If proceeding to Court, you and your spouse should each retain skilled litigation counsel. You will then prepare and file required Court documentation and place your issues before a judge, for his/her direction or decision in relation to contested matters.
The ultimate step in the Court process requires that a third party - a judge - to impose a decision upon you and your spouse, after receiving evidence and hearing arguments as to each of your claims. The judge will have formal and limited information about you, you children, your finances and your general circumstances. However, he or she will make decisions about some of the most important aspects of your life. Because Court can take away your right to self determination, it should only be utilized where there is no alternative option.
Even in the Court context, there will be opportunities to settle your Family Law issues. Generally, the Court will require a least one “Conference,” at which efforts must be made to settle your Family Law issues, before a judge will impose any kind of decision. There are generally significant wait times to appear before a judge. The process to arrive at a final outcome can be a lengthy one.
It is perilous to attempt to manage a Court case on your own. You should consult with a Family Law lawyer before you contemplate any Family Court action. With the assistance of a family lawyer, you will ensure that you meet all of the complex procedural obligations of the Court process. You will also ensure that you put forward the legal requirements necessary to successful advance your arguments before the Court.