When It Comes To Resolving These Matters Of Divorce Or Even Any Modifications, What Are The Best Options To Consider First? Do You Suggest Mediation, Should They Jump Straight To Litigation Somewhere In-Between?
It depends on the parties. Any issue that can be resolved amicably is better. The reason amicable is better isn’t because the attorneys are soft, and it’s not because the parties are soft. It’s because if you can do something amicably, especially when kids are involved and have to co-parent in the future, it gives you the ability to agree between the two of you with less expense on all fronts. Any time you can conserve your resources by keeping your money for yourself and not giving it to your attorneys, that’s a good thing. The other factor is it allows you to maintain a relationship with that other party to a better extent than if you’re litigating things.
Now, if the two of you don’t agree, then hiring an attorney and having the attorney give you advice on what next steps you should consider is a very good idea. Make sure you choose an attorney with the same view as you do, meaning if you want to litigate and want to fight the other side, you should find an appropriate attorney. If your goal is to reasonably and amicably work out a resolution that’s good for everybody, you need to choose an attorney who shares that theory of moving forward. You need to interview them and find out their style of dealing with the issues that are ahead. If you start asking those questions and have peaceful solutions for all of the scenarios, you can know you have found an attorney who will want to litigate and go to war.
Wars benefit attorneys. They don’t usually benefit the parties. So if you get good counsel and find that you cannot resolve the issue in a way that doesn’t involve the court, make sure you have somebody who can help you litigate reasonably and inform the judge of what you need and help you get it. But if there’s a way to get it through negotiation or reasoning, it’s a much better choice and should be the first choice. I’m not saying you shouldn’t get what you deserve, but I’ve had clients that have chosen to litigate over very small amounts of money, and their attorney fees were ten times what they even could receive. They went in knowing that they were litigating over $3,000 and their attorney fees were going to be $10,000. That makes no sense.
Now, when a party doesn’t follow the order time and again, and to teach them that they need to follow the order, you want to take them to court so they can see that they need to follow the order. Now that’s a different situation, but anytime there needs to be a change in parenting time or change in child support, or change in maintenance, that’s an opportunity for you and your attorney to call the other side and negotiate. We believe there needs to be a change based on a substantial change in circumstances. Are you willing to discuss that, or do I need to file a petition? And likely, they’ll say, “Yes, we’ll discuss it, send over what you’ve got, make a proposal and let’s talk about it.”
If you can’t agree, you can always file the petition. But by starting amicably and trying to negotiate and discuss it upfront, it sets the tone, which may help you resolve the issue without court intervention and without the animosity that sometimes arises from litigation.
For more information on Parenting Time & Custody In Illinois, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling Strategic Divorce at (847) 234-4445 today.
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