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Going through a Contested Divorce in New York

Written by
Full Name
Published on
22 January 2021

Divorce litigation, particularly in high-asset or complex cases in New York State, offers certain advantages that other forms of dispute resolution may not. Here is a summary of these advantages:

1.Comprehensive Financial Discovery:

  • Subpoenas for Records: Litigation allows attorneys to use subpoenas to obtain comprehensive financial records from third parties.
  • Depositions for Detailed Information: Parties and third parties can be deposed under oath to uncover detailed financial information which can be critical in high-asset cases.

2.Involvement of the Court:

  • Objective Oversight: The court acts as an objective party that can make decisions when the parties cannot agree.
  • Court-Imposed Deadlines: Litigation ensures that there is a structured timeline for the exchange of information and resolution of the divorce.

3.Litigation as a Tool Even When Not Anticipating High-Conflict:

  • Compulsory Disclosure: Even if a divorce is not high-conflict, litigation can ensure that all assets are disclosed, which may not happen in more collaborative settings.

4.Scenarios That Warrant Litigation:

  • Non-cooperative Spouse: If a spouse is not forthcoming with information or is dragging out the process.
  • Unfit Parent Situations: When there are disputes over custody and one parent is considered unfit, litigation can provide a formal setting to address these issues.
  • Complex Financial Cases: Litigation can help in uncovering and valuing complex financial assets.

5.Domestic Violence Cases:

  • Protection and Advocacy: For those who have experienced domestic violence, litigation can offer a layer of protection and ensure that they are not forced into an unfair settlement.

6.Settlement Possibilities:

  • Settlement Before Trial: Even in litigation, many cases are settled before they reach trial.
  • Trial Preparation for Settlement Leverage: Preparing for trial can be an effective way to negotiate a settlement, as it provides a full picture of the marital assets.

7.Legal Representation and Support:

  • Attorney Advocacy: An experienced family law attorney from a firm like Hannon De Palma can navigate the complex litigation process and advocate for the client’s best interests.

In summary, while litigation can be more adversarial and costly than other forms of divorce resolution, it may be necessary to ensure fair and complete financial disclosure, especially in cases with complex assets, power imbalances, or where there has been domestic violence. It provides a structured approach with enforceable deadlines and the involvement of the court, which can be particularly beneficial in ensuring that all issues are addressed and resolved in a fair manner.


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