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Do You Really Need to Go to Trial for Your Long Island Divorce?

by | Jul 2, 2019 | divorce, divorce mediation, News and Events

If you and your spouse have decided to get a divorce on Long Island, did you know that you don’t necessarily have to go to trial?  Here’s what you can try first and how to know if a trial may, in fact, be the best option considering your circumstances.

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Can You Talk to Your Ex?

If you and your ex-spouse can communicate with each other relatively peacefully, you already have a much better chance of being able to avoid trial than exes who aren’t able to communicate civilly.

If talking to your ex is difficult, try starting with written communication that can be tracked, like texts and emails. Avoid arguing with your spouse, name-calling, blaming, or other negative behavior. Encourage your spouse to stick to facts and discuss only matters at hand — don’t talk about what may have gone wrong, whose fault it might be, or any topic that is likely to cause an argument.

Consider Divorce Mediation

Divorce Mediation is a structured form of “talking it out” and involves you and your spouse working through any issues you may have resolving your divorce to come to an agreement about things like property division and child custody. You discuss these matters with an unbiased divorce mediator who can help facilitate a productive meeting. Once you and your ex-spouse decide how to move forward on each aspect of the divorce, your mediator can draft and send a written agreement to a Long Island family court to be approved and enforced by a judge. Of course, you and your spouse could have this document reviewed by independent divorce attorneys before submission. Divorce mediation may be a viable solution to avoid the cost, time, and stress of trial if you and your ex are able to negotiate, compromise, and communicate with each other.

Signs That a Trial May Be Necessary

Divorce mediation is not be the right fit for everyone. Here are some signals that a trial may be necessary in your case:

  • You and your ex cannot communicate civilly with each other or cannot be in the same room together.
  • You suspect that your ex may be hiding assets from you.
  • You and your ex have disagreed on one or more matters and neither of you are able to make any concessions.
  • Your ex has harmed you and/or your children.

Avoiding trial isn’t necessarily the most desirable solution for each case. In fact, going to trial may be in your best interest — if, for example, you have a high net worth divorce and stand to gain significantly from the split. Your divorce attorney can help you determine if it’s worth it to attempt mediation first or if you should go directly to court. Typically, it’s the former because you can always cease mediation and proceed to court if it’s not working out.

How to Prepare If You Do Go to Court

If you do end up going to court to resolve your divorce, you can expect to face some new challenges. However, not all divorce trials are ugly. Many of them go smoothly and reach a satisfying resolution for both parties. A significant factor in how well the trial goes is how well you’ve prepared beforehand. If you think you may be going to divorce court, make sure you:

  • Get all your documents in order. Ask your lawyer what documents you need, such as copies of your bank statements, W-2s, written communication from your ex, or other important records.
  • Practice your testimony. You’ll likely need to testify in front of the court during your trial. How you testify can make or break your case, so it’s important that you nail down ahead of time how you want to present your testimony. Practice until you feel completely comfortable with what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it.
  • Familiarize yourself with your ex-spouse’s evidence. Don’t go to court only understanding what you’re bringing to the table for evidence. Your attorney can help you familiarize yourself with the evidence your spouse will be bringing to court, so you can prepare rebuttal documents or petition for certain evidence to be withheld from court.

When to Reach Out to a Long Island Divorce Lawyer

Whether you think a trial is inevitable or you have a good chance of avoiding it, you still need a Long Island divorce attorney in your corner to keep you informed and protect your rights and best interests throughout the divorce process. Contact our experienced divorce and family law firm today at 631-923-1910 for a complimentary divorce consultation.

Call 631-923-1910 or fill in the form below

Schedule your complimentary consultation and case evaluation with our experienced attorneys today. When you call, you’ll speak to our friendly Client Services Director, who will be able to answer your general questions and set up your appointment with an attorney who specializes in your unique case.

At your meeting, your attorney will describe the many options available and determine together which is the right solution for you. By the end of this meeting we’ll all understand how we can best help you to move forward.

No Cost or Obligation

There is no cost or obligation for this initial consultation. It is simply an opportunity for us to get to know each other, answer your questions and learn if Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. is right the right law firm for you. Give us a call at 631-923-1910 or fill in the short form below to schedule your free consultation and case evaluation.

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Ann Masten
Ann Masten
17:48 12 May 20
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Everett Roberts
Everett Roberts
14:30 18 Mar 20
Going through a divorce was very challenging and emotional. Searching for an attorney can be challenging as well when you consider everything that is at stake. The choice I made to work with Rob Hornberger was surely the best choice available. His professionalism, expertise, and understanding made him and the entire team perfectly suited to achieve the outcomes I desired. Rob was always available to answer my questions and give me advice and legal considerations that affected my situation. The support I received from his staff was exemplary as well. The staff was courteous, kind, and also very professional. Thank you so much Rob and team for a worry free experience.
Annemarie Cusumano
Annemarie Cusumano
21:41 17 Mar 20
Being in family court especially when your children are on the line is extremely emotional and stressful but working with Robert and Christine put me at ease and made the process as pleasant as a situation like that can be. I have a now 3 year old daughter (who is the most important person in my life) and I've been working with them for over two years since my daughter was 7 months old, the case has been up and down and through it all Rob and Christine have never given up. My original case was due to a neglect charge. Cps is not easy to work with, but Rob and Christine were vigilant and I ended up getting my daughter back within 8 months and did not have to plead guilty to the neglect. Currently I am in family court to figure out a custody agreement. They are professional, empathetic, and patient. They have always explained everything thoroughly, informed me of all my options and advised me of what my best option would be. They always respond quickly when I contact them with questions or concerns and most importantly they fight for me in court and don't give up even when things get rough. Before hiring Rob and Christine I met with other attorneys who did not make me feel confident or comfortable at all about my case, so I am very grateful to have found Rob and Christine and to be represented by such great attorneys. I highly recommend them for any family court matters and will definitely continue to use them in the future if needed.
Steven Frierman
Steven Frierman
02:25 07 Mar 20
After meeting with 3 different lawyers, we felt Robert understood us best and he genuinely had our best interests at heart. This helped us resolve a few minor issues in a timely fashion and make a potentially stressful situation go more smoothly.Thank you
Randi Gottlieb
Randi Gottlieb
18:47 03 Mar 20
Hornberger Verbitsky, P.C. - Mr. Robert Hornberger and his staff are beyond professional, they quickly gave me my consultation appointment, and helped me with an after-Divorce issue. Mr. Hornberger was empathetic and explained to me what I should expect. Mr. Hornberger was extremely professional and advised me of my options, he helped me proceed with accurate and smart decisions. I wish I had Mr. Hornberger and his highly recommended staff when I was getting divorced. I would highly recommend Robert and his staff to anyone who is getting a divorce or in need of help with situations after the divorce!


  • I have known Robert for more than 8 eight years. Robert has represented many of my family and friends. Each and every one has raved about Robert’s professionalism and expertise. He is knowledgable, friendly and truly cares about his clients. I would not hesitate to continue to refer Robert and his firm in the future!
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