TWO COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT DIVORCE
Many clients share the same fears, questions, and beliefs about separation and divorce. Following are two of the most common.
- How long will this take?
At the beginning of a case, it is difficult to foresee how long it will take. After it is underway and your lawyer understands the issues, he or she should be better able to estimate the duration. The time that it will take depends in part, on the following four factors:
- The number and complexity of contested issues;
- The vehemence of your feelings and the feelings of your spouse and your inclination to consider settlement;
- The court’s calendar;
- Opposing Counsel — an extremely busy or uncompromising opposing counsel can prolong your case.
In most cases, the intensity of the parties’ feelings and the degree to which the parties want to fight are the two most likely factors contributing to a long case.
- How much will this cost?
It is difficult to estimate realistically the total cost of your matter, even when your lawyer knows the issues that will be contested and the strength of the parties’ feelings. If you and your spouse do not trust each other, the process may be long, drawn out, and expensive. Taking a matter to the trial stage is almost always more expensive than settling the lawsuit. Also, be aware that you will pay for the case in three distinct ways — with your time, emotions, and money:
Time: You will have to spend time assisting in the preparation of your lawsuit. Your will prepare your case, but only with your help. Lawyers sell their time, so if you can do some of the groundwork, your money can be used more efficiently. If you are not prepared to spend time on your case, the outcome may not be as satisfactory or cost-effective as it might have been.
Emotion: Divorce is one of life’s most painful experiences. Your emotions will likely be on a roller coaster. In most cases, both parties do not want to end the relationship to the same degree, and one person has been more emotionally hurt than the other. This is one reason to consider counseling. The more issues to be resolved, the more painful the divorce process. Sometimes, one party raises issues simply as a way of prolonging the matter or punishing a spouse. Be aware of this. If it seems to be happening, your lawyer should will call it to your attention.
Money: Since preparing and trying a lawsuit can be expensive, you and your lawyer will examine all of the issues at an early stage to determine which ones can be settled. You do not have to make unreasonable or unnecessary concessions, but look carefully at the issues that separate you and your spouse. You do have some control and you can make concessions that will resolve your case more quickly and thus reduce your costs.
For help from a skilled Pittsburgh divorce lawyer, contact Bunde & Roberts, P.C.