In New York State, only divorces involving genuine emergencies should start by filing in Court.
In Greek mythology “Charon” is a mercenary ferryman who takes deceased souls across the river Styx through the gates of Hell. Charon also happens to be the larger of the two moons orbiting the planet Pluto. Being both a New York divorce lawyer and an astronomy buff, I have wondered: does my occupation make me similar to Charon? Indeed, many people will tell you that going through a divorce in the New York State court system is Hell.
That said, whether a divorce lawyer is Charon-incarnate hinges on how he or she practices their profession!
A Charon-like divorce lawyer will try to capitalize on the client’s matrimonial misfortune by unnecessarily and immediately filing the case in Court. This is done to justify payment of a five-figure retainer. Such a lawyer will say this filing in Court is how all divorces begin.
The truth is that only divorces involving genuine emergencies require immediate court intervention. Such emergencies include serious domestic violence or the threat of it, willful refusal to pay for the vital financial needs of a spouse or children, or some other form of serious physical and/or financial abuse.
Absent such imminent serious abuse, divorce mediation or collaborative law are better options than divorce court because they are much less expensive, stressful and risky for the client than litigation. Unfortunately, a Charon-like divorce lawyer won’t say a word about these options during an initial consultation.
In my next blog I will share how a client with a non-emergency divorce can benefit greatly by making an out of court settlement, and how best to go about doing that.
© 2018 Arnold D. Cribari