Generally, family law issues can be resolved through negotiation or litigation. In negotiation, parties strive to reach agreement outside of court, and litigation involves going through the court process where a judge decides on the issues. Negotiations may be between the parties, the attorneys, through mediation or collaboration.
The litigation of family law matters is inherently adversarial, stressful, time consuming and costly. For many individuals, contested litigation is the only option they consider to resolve their disputes.
The litigation process begins when one party files a complaint with the court. The opposing party then has to file an answer to the complaint. The next step in the process is referred to as discovery. Discovery is the gathering of any evidence that may support a party’s case. This information is generally provided as written documentation. Both parties are obligated to provide full disclosure of all information that is requested. After discovery is gathered, both parties present their case before a judge. The judge then makes the final decisions.
Litigation is a process by which parties use the court process to settle a dispute. The litigation process is used when parties cannot resolve the issues through any other process. A judge makes all decisions in a litigated matter, and this decision is reflected in a court order. This order is legally binding, and both parties must comply with the order as it is written or face certain penalties.
To find out more about Litigation, call our Ashburn, VA office at (703) 443-4762 or Schedule a Consultation.