We all know that litigation is time consuming and expensive. A litigated case will often take 12 or more months to resolve, and this time frame is consistent with the time frames detailed in many of the local rules in Wake and surrounding counties. The average cost to litigate can range from $30,000 to $50,000. A typical retainer for an attorney to initially file a case may range from $5,000 to $10,000. Have comfort in knowing that less than 20% of the filed cases result in total litigation in which a judge makes all the marital decisions.
So why do people litigate? Often, it is a last resort. You cannot resolve your marital issues by yourself. If you have a spouse that increasingly refuses to communicate, then you may need to litigate. If your spouse has a narcissistic personality, then you may need to litigate. If your spouse tells you that “over his dead body you are getting his retirement,” then you may need to litigate. If your spouse refuses to disclose retirement and bank accounts, them it is time to initiate litigation.
In some cases, the decision to litigate may be heavily influenced by the attorney. It may be that a party has very unrealistic expectations either given by the attorney or unchecked by the attorney. It may be that the attorney has over-promised a result or position. It may be that the attorney is putting his or her own interests in front of his or her client’s interests. It may be the attorney is inexperienced.
The fact is that it only takes one party to initiate litigation. You must put significant thought and consideration into filing a lawsuit before doing so. Many times, the emotions are so high that one party needlessly files a Complaint. The filing of a Complaint sends a message and puts you on a path. You should fully explore your circumstances and the facts of your case with an experienced family law attorney before you initiate litigation.
There are benefits to filing a lawsuit. Over 80% of the cases do not end up in full blown litigation. One of the most frequent reasons to file is that by filing, you are putting your case on a docket system where both parties will be expected to comply with deadlines and court dates. This helps the parties and attorneys to focus in on the case and resolve an issue before the court date. If the issue cannot be settled, then the issue to be heard by a judge. Initiating litigation moves the parties toward reaching a resolution of one or many issues.
Another benefit to filing a Complaint is that there is court imposed mandatory mediation in most litigation cases. The court imposes mandatory custody mediation and mandatory property mediation regarding the distribution of the marital assets and debts between the parties. Custody mediation typically is completed within the first 90 days of the filing whereas the property mediation may be 9-10 months from the date of the filing. The overwhelming majority of cases are settled or partially settled at mediation.
The Law Corner is a litigation ready law firm. We have been litigating cases since 2004, and we have the experience that will give you the edge you need in court. We provide tailored solutions for your circumstances. We are one of the most responsive law firms in Wake and surrounding counties with a 24-hour return contact policy. We have a team of attorneys to collaborate with regarding your specific issues. We provide you with options and straight forward advice on which you can rely. Simply stated, we are in your corner, every step of the way!
Most of our litigation is limited to Wake, Durham, and Johnston Counties. If you need a Raleigh lawyer in your county to protect your rights and be in your corner, please give us a call, and we will try our best to accommodate you.