Thousands of divorce cases are filed in Rhode Island every year. However, if you were to visit the Providence Family court and walk from courtroom to courtroom for an entire month, you will likely stumble upon no more than one or two divorce trials. Out of these few divorce trials, the likelihood that the trial will actually be completed with a judge’s decision is minimal. But why is this the case?
There are a multitude of reasons why there are so few divorce trials. First, the Rhode Island Family Court system has developed a culture and practice over the years of directly and indirectly promoting divorcing spouses to pursue out-of-court settlements. Whether it be from the pressure of a judge or the spouses’ own counsel, couples are encouraged to work together with one another towards an uncontested divorce to avoid the emotional and physical burden of a trial. In many ways, divorce trials are seen as a breakdown of the system and are discouraged by judges and attorneys alike.
The system itself usually tends to wear parties down to the point where they no longer feel it is worth it to pursue a trial. Lengthy hearings, delays, conflicting schedules of judges and attorneys, and the financial cost of pursing litigation can become overwhelming for the involved parties, oftentimes prompting them to settle. Furthermore, while other types of legal issues such as criminal trials or contract disputes can have a clear winner and loser, divorce cases are not as black and white in their outcomes. Many skilled divorce lawyers can foresee the possible outcomes of a divorce and will encourage their clients to settle, as they will likely do worse if they choose to pursue a trial.
It is also not uncommon for cases to go to the day of trial yet settle before the trial starts. This is usually caused by clients and their lawyers attempting to gain as much leverage as they can to obtain the best settlement possible for their case, sort of like a legal game of “chicken.” This is often the case with particularly contentious cases, such as those involving high net-worth assets.
Simplify Your Divorce with TJC • ESQ. Today
If you are approaching divorce or are already knee-deep in the divorce process, it is important you have a knowledgeable attorney by your side to ensure your best interests are protected. At TJC • ESQ., our trusted Rhode Island divorce attorneys have more than 30 years of experience and can provide the steadfast support you need to guide you and your spouse towards an amicable solution for your divorce.