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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.

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