Some clients come into the divorce process thinking they need their day in court to be satisfied by the outcome. The truth is that satisfaction isn’t going to come by telling a long drawn out story to a courtroom full of strangers. The rules of civil procedure are very restrictive and designed to limit the amount of evidence that comes in based on credibility and relativity. They’re not set up to allow a person to go in and tell their story without interruption. There’s going to be objections and hearsay issues. There will be witnesses that you want but won’t be able to get for various reasons.
You won’t get that satisfaction you want. If you really want to give your side of the story, there is a way you can do that through the collaborative process. Although you have to be respectful and not hostile, you get a chance to sit down with the other attorney and lay out any issues you may have, what you feel entitled to, and why you feel this way. You can tell your side of the story, you’re just doing it in a setting where you don’t have restrictive rules from an evidentiary standpoint. The rules are usually frustrating for clients because they walk out of court feeling like they weren’t heard or didn’t get to tell the full story.
For example, say you’re in a case where you are married for 20 years and you’ve raised two or three children who are in middle school and high school. Now you’re going through a divorce and want to go into court and tell the judge the 20-year history of your marriage and why you’re here now. Realistically, the judge will give you an hour for your hearing because he has 20 more on his docket today. There’s no way you can convey every important detail of your 20-year marriage and why you are getting a divorce in one hour. You’re going to walk out of that hearing very frustrated with the process, with your attorney, and with your spouse.
That’s why going through an alternative method is good, because you’re not going to be limited to a time constraint. You’re going to have as many meetings as you need to solve that issue. There’s no other case that’s going to take up the time of the attorneys or the mediator. It’s your case and you get the benefit of all that time that you need.