Divorce Trial Litigation

Typically, a marriage is dissolved through a private settlement or mediation. However, if you and your spouse aren't able to resolve your differences outside of court, it may be necessary to take a case to trial.

We as skilled negotiators help clients prioritize their goals, go over all the possible approaches available, and help clients assess which approach will both advance the case and motivate the other party to settle.

Most people thinking about divorce begin with the hope of getting through the process without having to go to court. Unfortunately, amicable resolution works only when both people are committed to that approach. When one or both parties initially take widely divergent positions on issues that take litigation to resolve, a settlement is not entirely out of the question, but those initial positions mean that some litigation needs to happen first. Thomas Family Law’s Tennessee and Mississippi family lawyers help clients prioritize their goals, go over all the possible approaches available, and help clients assess which approach will both advance the case and motivate the other party to settle.

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The Differences Between Mediation and a Trial

The key difference between mediation and a trial is that mediation is a collaborative process while litigation is an adversarial one. Talks are held under the supervision of a neutral party who will ensure both you and your spouse have a chance to express yourselves in a safe and controlled environment.

If a case is taken to court, the judge overseeing the case will determine when hearings will occur or when the trial itself can begin. Furthermore, the judge will have complete control over the structure of the final divorce decree.

If you opt for mediation, you generally get to control when talks take place and have more control over the terms of the final settlement. It's worth noting that you have the right to reach a divorce settlement with your spouse without the assistance of a mediator or other parties.

Thomas Family Law’s Tennessee and Mississippi family lawyers know that clients count on the information provided by their lawyers both as to the time a case can take and the result that can be achieved. Our attorneys work diligently to be sure that communications with the client include learning about the client, discussing expectations of the process, and addressing assumptions the client might be making based on information the client has from other sources so that clients are making decisions using the best possible information. The firm’s attorneys also recognize that the investigation and analysis needed to maximize the likelihood of success at a trial is the same investigation and analysis necessary to maximize the likelihood of an optimum settlement.

The Various Aspects of Divorce Litigation

The discovery phase is the first step in a typical Memphis divorce proceeding. During discovery, you're allowed to request financial or other information that may be relevant in helping you obtain a favorable outcome in the matter.

After discovery takes place, your attorney may file motions with the court in an effort to protect your rights before a trial begins. A pre-trial memorandum motion might ask that your spouse vacate a family home or provide you with greater access to your children. Typically, hearings will be held to determine if these and other requests should be granted.

You may be required to attend a settlement conference before a trial can begin. While there's no obligation to reach an agreement during the conference, it may be in your best interest to do so. This is likely your last chance to resolve the matter in a relatively amicable and affordable manner during the litigation process.

Trial court litigation has many moving pieces and Thomas Family Law’s attorneys are particularly skilled at communicating legal concepts so that clients understand what is happening in their cases and can make informed decisions about each of the moving pieces. A big source of client stress in litigated cases is fearing the unknown of having to give testimony. The firm’s lawyers communicate with clients about the differences between ordinary conversation and testifying at a deposition or in court. They talk through clients’ concerns about the process so that no client leaves a deposition or trial feeling as though he or she was unprepared for the task of testifying effectively.

If facts or legal rulings change the landscape, clients may need to reassess their goals and priorities. The firm’s family law attorneys are attuned to continually evaluating case strategy to be sure that the strategy stays current with the client’s goals and priorities. Since Thomas Family Law’s lawyers are known for a high level of preparedness and confidence in the courtroom with their extensive experience, those skills alone can often tip the scales toward a favorable outcome for a client.

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