If you aren’t able to reach an agreement, then you are likely going to have a contested divorce. That does not mean that you have to be in court forever. It also doesn’t prevent you from eventually reaching a divorce settlement.
The family court system in Minnesota is set up to encourage parties to try to reach an agreement. Parties can file for divorce without being in agreement as to how to resolve the divorce. You will still be given ample opportunity to negotiate a divorce settlement.
For example, at your first court date after filing a contested divorce, you will have an opportunity to opt-in to Early Neutral Evaluation (ENE). If you are not able to reach a settlement at ENE, you may have a pre-trial or a temporary hearing. Eventually, if you and your spouse are not able to reach an agreement on all issues, you may end up going to trial and asking the Judge to decide those contested issues for you.
As an attorney, I do not “churn” my clients’ cases for fees. If a client wants to proceed in a certain manner in their case, I do my best to let them know the possible costs of doing so: both the financial costs and the “real life” costs. Sometimes the only way for a case to resolve is by going to trial; for example, if the opposing party is not being honest, safe, or willing to comprise. However, going to trial is not typically what is best for families. It is expensive, and it leads to animosity and finger-pointing between the parties. When children are involved, it’s important to remember that you will still need to co-parent with this person even after the trial is over and the divorce is final.
As an attorney, I work with my clients to help them settle their cases. If you cannot reach a settlement agreement, though, I am able to represent you at trial.
Elizabeth Rosar Chermack, Attorney at Law, is a Dakota County divorce lawyer. Call (952) 491-0390 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a consultation with Elizabeth Rosar Chermack, Attorney at Law.
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