Divorce is never an easy situation, but when the two parties can’t agree or have conflicts, divorce litigation might be the only option. It’s important to understand what it is and why it’s necessary.
WHAT IS DIVORCE LITIGATION?
Litigation is one of many ways to get divorced and is the most time-consuming, costly, and emotionally draining one. When most people think about divorce litigation, they assume that automatically means going to trial so that a judge can hear the case and rule for a settlement.
This is what happens, but technically, a negotiated settlement and arbitration are litigation forms, as well. Still, divorce litigation often focuses on being in open court to enforce each party’s rights.
Each spouse asks a judge to grant them what is legally due to them by ruling on whatever disputes there are. Sometimes, litigation is limited and focuses solely on defined parts of the divorce, such as parenting issues or child custody. Other times, divorce litigation includes all aspects and combines them into a legally binding agreement.
As a lawyer, Seth Eric Springer has seen a lot. In fact, many people want to go to litigation to wage a battle with their spouse to punish them. The length of time alone is enough because it can often take a year or longer.
Even if the parties choose divorce litigation, they can use a negotiated settlement to work out their differences.
WHEN DIVORCE LITIGATION IS NECESSARY
999PAdivorce.com does their best to reduce the conflict between the divorcing couple and keep them out of court. However, litigation may be necessary to help their client reach an agreement with the other person. Generally, they recommend litigation for these situations:
MinorsA marriage requires consenting parties to be recognized by the state as adults. Therefore, should any party to the agreement be under 18 years without applicable consent exemptions, the marriage becomes voidable. However, should the minor reach the edge of 18 and freely choose to continue the course with the other party, the grounds for annulment become non-existent.
Polygamythe institute of marriage is recognized as an agreement between two parties. Where this fundamental principle is not applied, there are grounds for the annulment of the marriage. Bigamy may be appropriately placed under this category, which indicates that a marriage is void, should one of the parties already be married at the time of the contract. There are exclusions, however, where the violating party has no proof of life of the previous spouse, provided that the deserted person in the equation is the one attempting to become remarried. The deserting spouse, by nature of the separation, automatically creates a void contract upon attempting to remarry.
ForceConsent is a fundamental building block where marriage is concerned. There should be no doubt that the parties on both ends entered a willful contract. Should it be determined that forced consent created the circumstances that led to the marriage, then this is grounds for nullity. However, as is the case with a minor who has transitioned into legal adulthood, if the forced party should choose to freely remain in the marriage, then it can no longer be made void under the same principle.
DuressLike force, duress strips away the precedent of consent that would define the institution of marriage. Threats, violence, or any action or constraint that may cause someone to carry out an action against typical and arguably better judgment can fall under the category of duress. Should it be established that any form of duress was present in the decision of either party that led to the marriage, the contract is not recognized by the state of Pennsylvania.
FraudThe consent for marriage is legally expected to be obtained by informed means. Therefore, a marriage becomes voidable if delusion leads to a decision of acceptance on either side. However, the principle of free cohabitation remains here. If the defrauded party, after having become aware of the facts at hand, should choose to continue to have the other as a spouse, the marriage then becomes a valid one.
InsanityThe state of unsoundness of mind removes the ability to properly give consent. For a more precise definition, both parties need to understand the contract associated with the marriage and the associated obligations. If the mental state of either party were to prevent this natural proceeding, the principle of nullity may be applied to this marriage. However, an exemption is made for those who have come to reason and have chosen to continue to cohabitate with the selected spouse. On these grounds, the marriage can then become valid.
Physical IncapacityA physical expectation of marriage consummation is placed on either party in the agreement. Physical incapacity speaks to an incurable predicament that renders one spouse unable to fulfill this obligation. Under these circumstances, an annulment is allowed.
Seth and his staff are very nice and helpful people. They are helping me through a very difficult time in my life and I'm glad to have them on my side to represent me. I highly recommend this firm.
- Shelby M.
Seth took the extra time to fully explain to me thoroughly in detail the answers to all of the questions i had. He sensed my urgency and immediately went to the courthouse to file.
- Michael B.
TIPS FOR LITIGATION PREPARATION
Each case that 999PAdivorce.com takes on is different, but they have been doing this for a while. Therefore, they have a few tips that apply to virtually every divorce litigation case:
Be organized – It’s crucial to stay organized instead of approaching the case haphazardly. 999PAdivorce.com tells their clients which documents to present and when. However, it’s the client’s responsibility to bring forth any evidence and be quite honest about the entire thing.
Listen to them – 999PAdivorce.com is there to offer unemotional and disassociated support to the case. Though both parties might be emotional and upset, they stay collected and calm to ensure that their client gets what they want.
Always be respectful – It’s common for one spouse to be a “hothead” during the proceedings. Let them have the meltdown and never be goaded into having unnecessary fights. When emotions get too strong, defer to 999PAdivorce.com because they are the human shields in this situation.
Show up to the court date and be on time – 999PAdivorce.com is very good at giving their clients plenty of notice for court dates. They may also offer dress code information that can be highly beneficial.
Limit communication with the spouse – This is a battle. 999PAdivorce.com is going into a battle, so it’s important to talk with the spouse as little as possible. Don’t give away the game plan, and always defer to the attorney.
Be honest – The attorney-client confidentiality clause is a big deal, and 999PAdivorce.com never breaks it. Therefore, it’s better to be brutally honest about everything knowing that the other party can’t find out from him. Those who lie in court could be subject to fines or jail time.
Listen closely – Though honesty is crucial, there’s no need to give more information than necessary when in court. Once the question is answered, stay quiet until the next one is presented.
Practice – Before the court date, 999PAdivorce.com goes through a practice “trial” with their client. This is beneficial because the client understands what the opposing party might do or say to sway their facts.
IS DIVORCE LITIGATION A MUST?
Since every divorce and every couple are different, it’s hard to say if divorce litigation might be right in the current situation. It might be wise to try arbitration or mediation first. However, those also cost money, which means the divorcing couple might spend even more without being able to agree on anything.
Those who argue all the time or become heated when discussing matters might find that it’s best to avoid that situation and start with divorce litigation.
Please consider 999PAdivorce.com. As attorneys, they tackle each case to win and always focus on what their clients need and want. Contact the office to request a free consultation to see if divorce litigation is the right choice or because it’s already been decided by the other spouse. Now is the time to act!