Divorce litigation is its own animal. We are conditioned as trial lawyers to believe that we are governed by the Code of Civil Procedure the same as all other matters, but the reality is that the rules of evidence are relaxed in the family court – whether by rule/statute or by practice. There is a sense that documents may or may not have to be authenticated before they are received, hearsay goes more to weight than admissibility, lawyers do a lot of argument.
Winning in divorce litigation is about getting the half that you wanted rather than the half your spouse wanted you to have. We litigate with certain ends in mind. We always seek to understand your goals – from quick settlement to full blown, scorched earth litigation (within the boundaries set by Marriage of Davenport above) – and then work tirelessly toward achieving those goals. We are in it for you.
Litigation should always be the second option; because divorce law is fairly straightforward we should be able to discern the facts enough to settle every case (except maybe custody issues). When we cannot, it is usually because someone is being unreasonable or difficult. In that case, we litigate and we litigate with full force and fury. But litigation is expensive and we always work toward reasonable outcomes that account for the costs of engaging in litigation. I would always rather have you keep the attorney’s fees you spend by a trial and get what you want. And if we get what you want, I work hard to make sure that you want to take Yes for and answer. But if you do not get what you want, then litigation always remains a viable alternative. I am your advocate but I am also your counsel, so I believe in making sure that you are always aware of risks and liabilities in your case so that you can make informed decisions. I do not like going to litigation over a matter that we know is a loser before we walk into the courtroom, but at Williams & Egan LLP we turn over every stone to see if we can work within the law to make sure that we give you the best chance of winning.