A Florida divorce (marital dissolution) is a very difficult process for both spouses and their children. While the degree of pain, anger, frustration and uncertainty may vary from case to case, it is rarely a pleasant experience. The degree of discomfort often depends on the ability of the parties to the divorce to amicably resolve as many issues as possible. While this is not always case, most divorces never need to morph into a bitter and brutal fire and brimstone conflict. This type of scenario does little more than eat up the valuable marital resources that you and your spouse have built over the duration of your marriage.
There is a well-kept secret that all family law clients would be well served to learn regarding who wins in a bitter contested divorce where the parties fight over every nut, bolt and shred of lint. The married couple most certainly are not winners in this scenario because those last dregs of refuse that the couple are fighting over might be all that is left after all of the litigation costs are paid. In most cases, the only winners in bitter, highly contested divorces are the law firms because the more you fight, the more you pay in legal fees. If you are involved in this type of very high conflict divorce, you should carefully consider whether the issues being contested and the cost of litigation are worth the aggravation and expense.
It may sound counter-intuitive for a law firm to provide advice designed to discourage behavior that results in higher attorney fees. However, our experienced West Palm Beach divorce legal team at the Law Offices of James S. Cunha is committed to helping clients obtain the best possible outcome in their divorce so that our clients can rebuild and start over. Litigation that is unnecessary depletes the marital estate of a substantial portion of its net worth and will rarely provide a divorcing couple with the best possible outcome. While our law firm provides aggressive, tenacious, and persuasive advocacy, we exercise judgment and restraint in helping our clients make informed decisions about when skillful negotiation makes more sense than contested litigation.
There are certain types of divorces that are more likely to result in more contentious litigation, such as divorces involving high net worth estates or assets that may be difficult to value, cases involving hidden assets, division of businesses or professional practices and disputes over parental time-sharing. The point is that there are issues that justify a bitter fight, and other issues where highly contentious litigation will simply drain valuable family resources.
When there is animosity and resentment between the parties, as is often present in a divorce, denying the other party something that has sentimental value can provide a moral victory for some. This moral victory is often radically outweighed by the costs. Our law firm never likes to see clients “waste” money on unnecessary litigation.
Fighting over the non-functioning hand-me-down washer and dryer just because the other party really wants it usually results in a “hollow victory” in the best scenario. Nonetheless, our attorneys have watched people fight these costly battles that rarely leave either party in a better position. There are many issues where Mr. Cunha often can predict the outcome or likely outcome based on his courtroom experience and knowledge of the law. A party that spends a substantial amount of resources litigating such an issue may not be making a cost-effective investment of resources.
For example, both parents have the right to be informed and have input in such major life issues as the child’s education, medical care, dental care and religious upbringing. Both parents will almost always be granted access to this fundamental information. The exceptions to this general rule involve extreme situations where there are serious questions or issues about a parent’s fitness because of issues like substance abuse, child abuse or neglect, sexual abuse, domestic violence, violent felony convictions, etc. If there are no serious issues of this magnitude and both parents have been involved in the child’s life prior to the Boca Raton or West Palm Beach divorce, it typically is a forgone conclusion that both parents will share access to relevant information regarding these important aspects of their children’s lives.
While our law firm helps our clients obtain their goals in a divorce case, we also try to provide our clients with information obtained from experience in the courtroom and knowledge of the law so that our clients can pick the battles worth fighting. We believe that clients should be armed with candid and accurate advice and options so that they can make informed decisions. Our West Palm Beach family law firm is available to represent clients in West Palm Beach, Lake Worth, Palm Beach Gardens, Boynton Beach, Jupiter, Delray Beach and Boca Raton in Palm Beach County. No matter where you are located, we are just a phone call away.