Staying Out of Court/Martin Rosenfeld

Posted on December 11, 2011


One of the regular contributors to this blog, Attorney M. Marcy Jones wrote a recent piece for Huffington Post, at the following link: She explains why litigation should be avoided in divorce proceedings. While she advocated for Divorce Mediation or Collaborative Divorce, her succinct summary of the deficiencies of litigation is well-stated. The five drawbacks to litigation as described in the article are the following:
1. Litigation is expensive.
2. Litigation destroys family relationships. (How will a couple co-parent their children after they have attacked each other’s character in Court?
3. Divorce is stressful for all parties, but most stressful for children.
4. Litigation is a slow, drawn-out process.
5. No one is the winner in litigated matters.
The article does not point out that trials are rare and more than 98% of all cases are eventually settled. However, the process of discovery, motion practice, court appearances add a measure of trauma, and more than a measure of financial burden. The process of litigation looks somewhat regal on television programs. In real life, it is a way to spend much money while allowing yourself to be demeaned and neutered. The advice of Attorney Jones to treat this process as a last resort is advice worth taking to heart.