The traditional divorce model is court-based, on an adversarial litigation model that relies on court oversight of deadlines set forth in court orders, Colorado statutes, and Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure. In a traditional divorce, attorneys are often seen as hired mouthpieces, who navigate the court-based process to obtain court orders about all issues, from the division of assets and debts, to the payment of maintenance and child support. Litigated divorces can be frustratingly slow given that many courts are overwhelmed by the volume of domestic cases that need attention, and the amount of time frequently spent waiting for the other party, or their lawyer, to provide information or a response to a specific inquiry.
The process is known for its difficulty and unpleasantness, and for the stress it puts on all members of the divorcing parties’ family. Cooperation and good intentions, if they exist at the outset, are quickly strained as parties take up positions which tend to become increasingly polarized as they move through the courts process. Any case that is going to be litigated has specific steps that the parties and attorneys must go through to resolve disputed issues. I have experience in all stages of litigation in the family law realm. My experience includes making mandatory financial disclosures at the outset of the case, conducting discovery, filing motions when necessary, and presenting your case in court to the judge.
A great deal of attention has been paid and research done on the destructiveness of proceeding through a litigated divorce – for parties as well as for their children. Even for litigated cases, alternative dispute resolution, primarily mediation, must be attempted by parties to settle all of the issues in their divorce before they proceed to court. Judges want and encourage parties, who know their own families best, to reach agreements to the greatest extent possible before they are called on to make decisions with lasting consequences for families they know very little about.
duction of documents, and depositions. Parties agree at the outset to produce all documents that either party deems relevant to being able to reach fully informed agreements.