This is a great question. Sometimes I hear clients or their spouses say cute things they heard on TV like: “see you in court.” What does that really mean? Well, it means that your attorney is going to be paid quite a bit of money to get ready for a trial (up to $20,000 or more) and then spend time in an actual courtroom putting witnesses (yes, you) on the witness stand and going over testimony and documents. Some people think this is the way to show the other spouse that you mean business…you will show them! Well, in actuality it is a huge stressor for everyone and very expensive for the parties. Then you have a judge who does not know your family and only hears what is presented in court in a 1-3 hour hearing. Your side of that time is anywhere from 30 minutes to 1.2 hours, most likely as you only get half the time. With that limited information, in a very limited timeframe, the judge will make decisions for your family that have lasting impact. And no matter how good the judge is, it will not make anyone very happy. Yes, I get that sometimes you have to go to trial…some cases just scream for a judge to decide the issue. I have conducted over 200 trials and each one was very stressful and very expensive. I do not recommend them. There is a better way. There is mediation. Learn about it. It is worth your time and effort to understand the difference.
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