Litigation has been defined as “a judicial contest” or “to engage in legal proceedings”. In short, it is the process by which matters are resolved through the courts.
Almost all Family Law matters go through that process to one degree or another, ultimately ending in an order signed by a judge. This is true even where the parties are in agreement. Family Law (including divorce, custody, support, etc.) is a creation of statutes, and the courts are the place that disputes are to be resolved.
At the conclusion of almost any Family Law dispute, the court must issue an order setting out the parties’ rights and obligations. This may include orders deciding how property is owned, custody of children, and payment of support, for example. It may also include restraining orders on personal conduct. While the order may simply follow the agreement of the parties, it may also be the result of the judge making a decision where the parties are not in complete agreement.
Much law involves the preparation of documents and providing legal advice, where the courts are not involved unless there is later a dispute regarding the documents or advice. Some attorneys never go to court, either because of their area of specialization or because they just do not like the procedures, deadlines, uncertainty, or animosity.
What happens in courtrooms and appellate courts, however, should impact the advice they give and the documents they prepare. When you hire a lawyer to handle your Family Law matter, hoping for a quick, painless result and assuming the other party wants the same, you may overlook the fact that the case may ultimately end up in a court room, simply because you two do not agree on important terms.
While it is important that you consider all means of resolving your dispute without court intervention, it is important to remember that you may need an experienced litigation attorney to finish the case. In addition, only through litigation does an attorney have the experience to tell you what judges do when faced with certain types of problems.
Each attorney on this site has several decades of court room experience, just in case the worst happens.