Can I still apply to the courts to resolve divorce issues?

There can be considerable benefits in using the courts to resolve your divorce.

There has been a large political and media push towards getting divorcing couples to use mediation over recent years.  You could be forgiven for thinking that using the courts to help you and your family to move matters forward was no longer an option.

Mediation can be an excellent process. It helps many couples to reach an agreement.  Here at Diane Genders Solicitors, specialist divorce lawyers in Lincoln, we will always explore which process is going to be best for you and will often recommend mediation as a result.

Applying to court to resolve financial or children matters will still be the correct or preferred decision for many people.  There are different reasons for this.

What are the benefits in applying to court to resolve your divorce?

Strict timetables to avoid delay

Applying to the family courts to resolve your divorce or separation financial or parenting issues gives you the advantages of strictly imposed timetables. The court will make sure that delay is minimised and judges have ever increasing `case management’ powers to enable them to resolve cases as time and cost efficiently as possible.  Unfortunately, many divorce and separation cases take too long to settle out of court because this timetable is not in place.  Deadlines are missed and delay is caused whether intentionally or otherwise

Helping to get compliance from your ex-partner

Applying to court is also helpful because of the authority that the j has combined with powers to force your partner to comply.  This will be important to you if you are concerned about your ex-husband or ex-wife’s behaviour or integrity.

If you are worried that your partner will delay, will not give accurate financial information or will try to hide assets or income then choosing to apply to court could be the right option for you.

Having somebody else make the unwelcome decisions

A third benefit for many is that applying to the court and asking the Judge to make a decision can be a huge relief.

Keeping control of the negotiations and being able to design your own outcomes is very important to some, but not to others.

Having a Judge help you and your partner to work through disclosure, to consider the evidence and then to take on the responsibility of making very difficult decisions can be a great relief for some people, even if it means that you have to go all the way to a final hearing.

Will I need to go through with a final contested hearing?

Only a small fraction of court applications go all the way to final contested hearings.  The entire court process is designed to help families settle cases earlier with the benefit of the Judge’s assistance, knowledge of previous cases and, when required, the ability to make the reluctant partner co-operate.

Will applying to the courts increase my costs?

In some cases it will be more expensive to resolve your case through the court process than it would be to use mediation or collaborative processes.  You need to consider whether those benefits set out above are important and of value to you.

You also need to be aware that there are too many examples where out of court solutions have been selected because they were thought to be cheaper.  The couples then come across difficulties, typically with forcing a reluctant partner to provide disclosure or negotiate.  In those circumstances an application then needs to be made to court, duplicating large parts of the work already carried out, creating extra costs and causing delay.

In these situations, and with hindsight, there is often regret that a cheaper, out-of-court option was considered in the first place.

The family divorce courts are there for a reason.

The courts provide a very important function in our society.  They might not be perfect and they might find themselves criticised from time to time. In many cases however, the courts are essential in enabling families to move past the issues that arise at the end of a marriage or relationship.

Let us help you.

If you are thinking about getting divorced and want to understand the benefits in all of the options open to you, including making an application to court, then call us today and ask to speak to one of our experienced divorce lawyers on 01522 516500.