Many people go into divorce litigation believing that surely justice will be done and the judge will throw the book at that jerk of a spouse of yours. They believe that they are completely right, and their spouse is completely wrong, and they will walk away the winner taking all and smelling like a rose. Well, there is some news you need to learn about divorce litigation that might be hard to swallow.

1. You Will Not Get Justice

Court simply isn’t set up to deal with a divorce properly. A judge deals in matters of law. The judge has specific guidelines that he or she must follow no matter how special or unique your case is. Without serious proof of illegal activity provided by police and experts, whatever you think your spouse did to you is not going to matter. Divorce court is not where justice is handed out.

2. You Will Not Get Off Cheap

Divorce litigation costs a lot of money. Not only will your attorney be paid for every moment they are in court with you, they will also get paid while they prepare your case, interview witnesses. They will also be paid while talking to your soon to be former spouse and / or their attorney. When you consider your attorney’s hourly wage, this can add up to a tremendous amount that could be used for your new life.

3. Your Settlement Will Not Happen Quickly

Divorce courts are usually jam packed with cases. It can take months for you to even get on the docket. Months that you and your spouse could be working out a workable agreement to avoid the expense of litigation. The truth is, very few cases ever actually go to litigation but they are dragged out until the last minute where the parties settle right outside the court room door. Why not avoid all that drama and work on a settlement now. A divorce in litigation can be dragged on for years.

4. Your Children Will Not be Unscathed

Having a long drawn out litigious divorce will, unfortunately, cause a lot of problems for your kids. They will feel like it’s their fault. They will feel as if they have to take sides. Sometimes lawyers insist on calling kids to the stand, and even if you are against it, and your other spouse is for it, the kids will end up on the stand having to feel as if they are betraying one of their parents. This type of litigation should be avoided at all costs.

5. You Will Not Win

Even if you feel your side is morally correct, that will mean nothing to the judge. Most divorcing couples who embark on litigation come out feeling as if they are ruined. Typically, no one gets what they want in a divorce involving litigation, most especially the children. In seeking to follow guidelines, the judge will likely throw out most of the emotional aspects of your case and hand down the standard ruling. You won’t win.

With the exception of serious cases of abuse and neglect, it’s always better to avoid divorce litigation when you can. Try mediation, collaborative or cooperative divorce. Find experts who are trained in divorce negotiation that is not litigious. A divorce can be civilized if you find the right experts to help you through it and if you have the willingness to cooperate.

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Kari and Richard are staunch advocates of the non-court approach to divorce, and are also active and seasoned litigators with over 80 years of combined trial experience in the Illinois divorce courts of Cook and DuPage counties.