courthouse steps

Litigation & the Court Process

Interaction with the court is inevitable for most families with legal matters, whether contested or uncontested.

Uncontested litigation finalizes a settlement and formalizes necessary legal changes (such as granting an uncontested divorce and updating existing court orders).  For many, this is the extent of their experience.

For families facing complex challenges, contested litigation may become the only option to move toward a resolution.  Contested litigation turns over decision-making about the outcome to a court, according to a schedule set by the court.

Contested litigation often arises in family legal matters when:

  • parties assess the circumstances differently, which cannot be bridged in settlement
  • one party refuses to engage or respond
  • access to necessary information and documents is being denied or restricted
  • complex issues exist, calling for third party
    • intervention by a court or
    • evaluation, appraisal, or analysis by experts
  • safety issues eliminate other dispute resolution options

Not every attorney litigates or welcomes complex, contested family litigation.  Since 2002, I have represented clients in highly contested litigation as well as amicable, uncontested cases.

In uncontested matters, I work together with my clients navigate the court process, for example to:

  • Educate them about what to expect at each step
  • Streamline the process, for efficiency and cost-savings
  • Draft and file necessary court documents
  • Prepare for the uncontested hearing
  • Address any after court follow up

In contested litigation, I work together with my clients to prosecute or defend their contested cases by, for example and in addition to the above, to:

  • Address court deadlines
  • Gather evidence and navigate the discovery process to develop additional evidence
  • Customize a litigation strategy based upon my client’s unique goals, concerns and priorities, as well as the family’s specific needs
  • Assemble a litigation team, which may include an associate attorney, paralegal, legal assistant, as well as outside experts, to support my client and demands of the case
  • Analyze potential results for maximum benefit
  • Prepare my client to testify in deposition and at hearings and trial
  • Advocate for my client’s position and represent my client’s best interests in any settlement efforts and trial

Family legal matters are difficult enough.  Litigation adds to the difficulty.  When representing clients in litigation, whether highly contested or amicably uncontested, I try to make the court process as manageable as possible, based upon my client’s unique needs, goals, concerns, and priorities.