By Lorraine Mlambo
In the event of a disagreement between you and your former spouse, going to court to resolve your family matter should be a last resort. Here are 6 reasons why you should resolve your matter out of court:
- Lawyer fees are expensive. You do not want to spend money on lawyers you would otherwise spend on that long-awaited vacation to Disneyland with your child/children.
- The party that loses may be required to pay some or all of the legal fees of the winning party, in addition to his or her own legal fees.
- Unfortunately, the litigation process may not run as expeditiously as one would hope and delaysare common.
- Once your matter goes before a judge, you lose any degree of control over the outcome. For instance, in custody cases, you run the risk that neither your proposed plan nor that of your spouse is accepted by the judge. The judge has absolute authority to decide what is in your child’s best interests. Therefore, in settling your matter in court, you are entrusting a third party who does not know your children as well as you do, to make a decision about how they get to live.
- You are less likelyto be satisfied with an outcome following a court decision, than if you came to a resolution having taken part in the process.
- As an old Swahili proverb goes, ‘war has no eyes’. Court proceedings are akin to a battlefield and have a way of damaging relationships and burning bridges. In the early part of a custody battle you may not feel as such, but as long as you have children the road ahead is a long one. Think about events and occurrences to come, first day at school, sports days, graduations, music recitals and perhaps even weddings and mutual acquaintances. The bottom line is there is life after divorce or separation, and mutual resolution paves way for better parenting relationships.
Lorraine Mlambo is an Edmonton based Family Lawyer from RLM Law.