Sunday, July 22, 2012

Are There Shortcuts to Divorces?

One of the biggest concerns of  people going through a divorce or other family law process is how long it takes to complete it.  Initially, it may just be one of the parties who is upset about the slow pace, but after a while, both parties often are very anxious to end it.  The parties often ask their attorneys to speed up the process, but that is difficult.  Your only avenue for quick action is to come to an agreement.  That involves the other side in the case, which means compromise.

If you find yourself looking for shortcuts in the divorce process, here are some things to keep in mind.

1.  Be clear with your attorney about what your objectives and priorities are. If you prefer speed over thoroughness or over cost considerations, tell your attorney.  If there are certain outcomes that are most important to you, such as getting primary custody or having an expanded visitation schedule or keeping the house, be sure to discuss those with your attorney.  To end the divorce quickly, your attorney needs to know what you absolutely need to end up with.

2.  Be prepared to pay more to your attorney in the near future.  If you want to speed up the process, that probably means that your attorney will get very busy and put in a lot more time on your case right away.  That means much more cost to you, so be prepared for that.  There is a trade off.  More work = higher attorney's fees.

3.  "Haste makes waste."  Benjamin Franklin's saying applies here.  You may miss something if you and your attorney are speeding through the process.  Attorneys will usually look through the information the get and try to figure out if anything is missing.  If you rush, you will probably not get a complete or accurate picture of the finances or other important facts.  That could cost you in the long run.

4.  Pushing hard to speed up the case could derail the process.  People need time to process issues and decisions dealing with family matters.  If you push too hard or push in the wrong way, your spouse may just stop.  It takes both sides together to move quickly through the legal system.  Your spouse could just freeze up if he or she feels too much pressure.  You have to think about the most effect way to motivate your spouse or ex.

5.  You may have to give up something you really want or expect.  It's normally not possible for you to force the other side to move quickly and to do things your way.  Quite often, you trade value for speed.  You have to decide if your spouse is demanding too much to come to a quick agreement.

Here are three points to remember if you think you want to try a shortcut so you can finish up your family law issue:
  • Shortcuts aren't always short.  Sometimes they backfire.
  • Shortcuts aren't always effective.  Your spouse or ex has a say in whether an agreement is reached.
  • Shortcuts may turn into a bumpy road.  Getting to an agreement can be a very unpleasant process.


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