In general, there aren’t any benefits to filing for divorce before your spouse in Louisiana. In some rare cases where there is abuse, filing first could be beneficial. However, I usually encourage my clients to talk to their spouses. Typically, it isn’t a surprise when people are looking to get a divorce. If things can be done in a controlled, non-confrontational manner, is sometimes best for the parties to be forward about their situation.
In a divorce, if you can’t agree to anything and decide to go to court, the courts will make a ruling based upon the facts. It’s unfortunate because no one knows your family better than you do. That’s why it is best if everyone works together. You get a better solution than fighting.
For example, if a family is used to spending a special holiday at mom’s family’s house, the court may not recognize that factor. The court may say, “One year the dad gets the holiday, the other year the mom gets it.” Instead, after the divorce, that might be something that the mom and dad could work together on. Dad could say, “Look, you always do thanksgiving at your house. You keep the children for thanksgiving.” The parents could sit down with their attorneys and discuss how they would like to keep it the way they are used to having the holiday because the children get to spend time with their cousins and family. In turn, the dad could request another holiday, such as Christmas. Again, if the parents can work together, it provides a much safer, agreeable, and healthier environment.
When Couples Decide To Proceed With A Divorce, What Are The Options For Mediation Versus Litigation?
Mediation takes place when parties come together to arrive at a resolution. In mediation, there will be a mediator or lawyer to intercede. In the majority of litigation cases, when parties hire their own attorneys, they are arguing for adverse results. For instance, one side’s trying to prove something while the other side’s trying to prove another thing. Litigation is very costly, uncomfortable, and adversarial. It can create hard feelings. That is why parties often choose mediation.
In mediation, the mediator, who is impartial, will sit in the middle. Their job is to try to facilitate a result. The parties will each present their sides. They will go into different rooms and the mediator will move between trying to reach a solution. Mediation is non-binding, and it works very well in injury cases. I’ve seen it work well in business-to-business cases also. It can work in family matters. Although, I find it working the least in family matters because emotions can run very high. Parties need to do their best keeping emotions to a minimum and under control. Once the clients get emotional, it’s difficult and the attorneys can lose some control over the situation. Spouses don’t usually understand that even if it is a divorce, it’s still business. You’re making decisions.
Nonetheless, mediation is less costly. It’s much simpler. There are no rules of evidence and parties can speak if they do it politely and professionally. The mediator can help the parties understand the circumstance at issue. Mediation is also a choice. The parties involved get to decide whether to go through mediation.
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