When Is It Better to Litigate a Divorce?

January 10, 2021   |   Tanya Davies   |   blog
Divorce litigation
Divorce litigation

When Is It Better to Litigate a Divorce?

As you proceed through your divorce, you can attempt to reach your divorce settlement agreement using various methods, including mediation, arbitration, and collaborative law. While these types of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) can be beneficial in certain cases, they may not always be the best approach for reaching an agreement.

Sometimes, it can be in your best interests to forego ADR and rather have outstanding matters litigated in court. There are specific situations where litigation is a better choice to ensure you receive a fair divorce settlement:

  • High-Value Divorces: If you and your spouse have investments, substantial cash savings, own multiple homes, or own a business, litigating the division of assets results in you receiving your fair share.
  • Prevents non-disclosure of or hidden Finances and Assets: Litigating a divorce will uncover all finances and assets. This is especially important if you suspect the other party will attempt to hide finances and assets to avoid having to divide them equally.
  • Addresses Trust Issues: When the divorcing spouses do not trust each other, they do not always believe the other person is being honest. Litigation guarantees honesty.
  • Prevents Power Imbalances: When there is a power imbalance, one party is left more vulnerable and could more easily be taken advantage of by using ADR. Litigating the divorce ensures a balance of power between the parties.
  • Contested Divorces: If one or both parties constantly contest settlement offers, it is better and less expensive in the long run to use litigation to reach a suitable divorce settlement rather than spending considerable legal costs in back and forth correspondence and offers between parties.
  • Abusive Situations: If one party is physically or verbally abusive, litigating the divorce helps protect the abused party and ensures additional protection. Often, parties can seek restraining Orders through Family Court.

Any matters litigated in court become legally binding once the judge decides an appropriate equal distribution of marital assets. The disposition of the marital home is also legally binding.

Do All Aspects of the Divorce Require Litigation?

Your Ottawa divorce lawyer will review what options are most appropriate for your particular circumstances and when litigation would be in your best interests.

In situations where ADR may be more appropriate, litigation may not be required. If there are outstanding disputed issues after ADR, then the few remaining issues can be litigated in court. You would want to litigate most, or all aspects of the divorce for the specific situations mentioned previously.

Additionally, litigation is a good choice in cases where the divorcing couple has children and cannot reach a child custody agreement that is in the best interests of the children. For instance, you believe you should be the custodial parent, while the other party believes you should be the custodial parent.

It is essential to remember each divorce proceeding is unique to the parties getting divorced. As such, the processes used to resolve outstanding issues can and do vary from one case to the next.

For further information about litigation and what methods would be best for your divorce in Ottawa, please contact Davies Law Firm at (613) 688-0462 today, for the legal advice and guidance you need, to protect your interests.

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