As a divorce attorney who focuses on "creative and effective settlements" rather than "down and dirty litigation", what really makes me roll my eyes at parties is when I hear statements like "My friends tell me I need an agressive attorney to get what is mine" or "But my friend said she got X-Y-Z in her divorce".
One of my mantra statements is "Stop listening to your friends and stop posting about your divorce on Facebook". This is not to say you shouldn't have friends as sounding boards or that you should keep all your feelings bottled up, but you do not need to surround yourself with the supposed experts who know little to nothing about YOUR divorce or the law and have gained most of their knowledge from tv, from watching the Britney Spears custody issues on the news or even from their own divorce. EVERY DIVORCE IS DIFFERENT! If they were the same, and you would automatically be getting the same results as your friend, there would be no need for people to fight. It would be boiler plate language and calculations in every case. Everyone would have the same timesharing schedules. But of course, this isn't the case.
Altough statistics vary, it is safe to say that over 3/4 of divorces are resolved by agreements of the parties. Most people never see the inside of a courtroom until the day the divorce is quickly finalized. As it should be. Going to trial is expensive. Going to trial is mentally and physically draining. Going to trial is detrimental to the children. Having a judge, rather than the parties themselves decide the outcome makes people less lkely to follow that outcome - leading to increased post-judgment issues. And finally, in most circumstances, going to trial is unnecessary.
Realize that if you have children, your soon to be ex-spouse will be in your life, to some extent, forever. How can you expect to have a working relationship with that person, to the best interest of your children, when you demonize them for a lengthy and grueling 18-month divorce process. And yes, it can easily take that long should you seek to "be agressive". Conversely, you can work with your spouse to have a cooperative relationship after the divorce, by putting aside the animosity, by thinking about your children's future, the equality of the division of assets and debts and the process of moving forward.
The best divorce is one where all family members can move forward in a healthy way. Ideally, the settlement agreements can be put aside and there is never a need to pull them out of the drawer in the future since the parties are able to cooperate and co-parent. Having fought a contested battle through lawyers, spent thousands or tens of thousands of dollars to wind up with a very similar result that could have been achieved amicably, the animosity and damage is more likely to continue for years beyond the divorce.
At Lindsay A. Feldman, P.A., we offer low flat fee divorces. Be divorced in under a month and maintain a cooperative relationship with your spouse. PLease call or email us to see how this non-litigation strategy may be the best for your family.