In your experience, how often do divorces get resolved “amicably” after being filed in court?

Some couples actually realize that while their marriage is a failure, that does not mean that they are bad people. They can care enough about each other to divorce amicably. I’ve seen it happen about 10% of the time. It probably happens more often than that, but when lawyers are involved (and those are the only divorces I can base my experience on, given that I am a divorce lawyer), usually one or both spouses isn’t interested in an amicable settlement or believe an fair, amicable settlement can be reached.

It’s hard to get a lot of people (not all, not maybe even most, but a lot) to realize the costs of preparing for and taking a case to trial over settlement. One of the reasons is that too many people file lawsuits and make claims in lawsuits for their nuisance value. In other words, these people know or suspect that their claims may not ultimately win at trial, but they make the claims because the person sued may determine it’s safer/more economical in the long run to pay the blackmail/nuisance fee than to take the case to trial because even if the defendant “wins” the trial, the public humiliation, the distress, and/or financial costs of going all the way to trial are worse.

But in divorce cases it’s so irritating (even terrifying) to be accused of being a child abuser or molester, of being a drunk or a pill-popper, mentally ill, a miser, or a wife-beater, etc. and then be told to “settle” the case without being vindicated.

It’s soul-crushing to have one’s good name (that you built up over a lifetime) dragged through the mud with impunity and then to realize that the the court system isn’t in the business of protecting the reputations of good people (it doesn’t even try), and so many clients simply will not believe it (and can you blame them for feeling that way?). Instead, they desperately fall in love with the images on TV of Tom Robinson (from To Kill a Mockingbird) or Bertram Cates (Inherit the Wind) being gloriously and dramatically rescued by the court against all odds.

People who risk losing their kids and/or net worth in divorce (or even of going to jail because of the crimes they are falsely accused of) in the course of the proceedings have to believe there is somewhere, someone to whom they can turn for relief. There is such a being (you can learn more about Him in the scriptures), but it ain’t consistently the court.

Utah Family Law, LC | | 801-466-9277

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