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Resolving disputes creatively

Divorce battle continues in New York for 14 years

Although divorce is perhaps the most common way to bring a marital relationship to an end, it is by no means the only way. Given the adversarial approach involved in a divorce proceeding, it is certainly not the most pleasant or amicable way of resolving the dispute at the end of which the marriage will be over. One of the other options available to a divorcing couple, especially if the spouses do not wish to experience a long courtroom battle, is divorce mediation. It involves the husband and wife going to an impartial third party. The third party would help the spouses to reach mutually negotiated and acceptable conditions and to reach an amicable agreement.

Not only is such a process a huge emotional relief for the parties involved, but it is also generally a far less expensive one when compared to litigation. The private issues do not need to be aired publicly and the settlement can be arrived at much sooner if a person does not end up in a courtroom. Perhaps the time has come for such an option to be exercised more, especially in places like New York, where, currently, one of the longest divorce cases is still going on.

This case involves a New York resident who has been seeking a divorce from his estranged wife for almost 14 years, with no end of his plight in sight. He claims that his wife misrepresented her net worth and forced him to keep paying a high spousal support allowance and legal fees of $15,000 per month, while he has to rely on social security to support himself. On the other hand, he alleges, his wife is wealthy and can afford expensive lawyers to draw out the case.

A situation like this is an example of how contesting the divorce in court may not always help the individual involved to solve their problems. In situations like that mentioned above, divorce mediation may be a less time consuming task. However, there are situations where litigation and a trial may be necessary. An experienced family law professional may be available to help assist those struggling with divorce.

Source: New York Post, "No end in sight for 14-year-old divorce case," Tara Palmeri, March 05, 2014.

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