Going to Court for Divorce
Are you worried about going to court for divorce? Luckily, many divorces settle outside of court, and starting a divorce does not mean you will have to go to court. Most lawyers, including myself, try to keep cases out of court if possible by attempting to negotiate an agreement and settle the case without the need for court appearances. This is what happens in at least half of my cases. Most people can reach an agreement and we can proceed, as we call it, on papers. That means you can sign everything outside of a courtroom. Then, the papers are processed and you will never have to set foot in the courthouse. Keep in mind, however, that a court appearance is sometimes necessary, and it can be helpful to your case if you’ve reached a point where things are not moving forward and you need some assistance to get temporary relief on some issues. If so, the court appearance can be very helpful and effective, so you shouldn’t be intimidated by the process.
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Going to Court for Divorce | Trying to Stay Out of Court
I often get calls from people who say that they believe they have reached an amicable resolution with their spouse regarding their divorce. Although no court proceedings have taken place, they have sat down with their spouse and talked about houses, children, and everything they consider important. They believe they have reached a resolution. In such cases, we try to prepare an agreement for both sides to sign.
In New York State, a lawyer can represent only one of the spouses. It’s not considered appropriate for both spouses to meet with one attorney; however, one spouse can meet with a lawyer and talk about the possibility of having a property settlement agreement drafted, reviewed by the other spouse with his or her attorney, and signed. This approach will expedite matters significantly and keep the couple out of court, but still carries a certain amount of cost. There are also certain costs involved in finishing your divorce. New York State requires filing fees at specific stages of the process and there is really no way around paying a fee for the divorce, but you can certainly keep costs down if you can reach a resolution with your spouse.
If you have been worried about going to court for divorce, please call our office today to speak with one of our excellent divorce attorneys to go over your concerns.