This is the opposite of what might first be thought. Surely, one would think, when finances are at their lowest we would all try to avoid anything which would increase legal costs even more than we normally would?
Certainly we are continuing to advise our clients to try mediation, to let us help negotiate a sensible settlement and or to use our collaborative lawyers. But an increasing number of cases are going to a Judge for a final determination. This saddens us (should it, if that is what our client want?) as getting a divorce is hard enough as it is and Court cases are traumatic and very expensive indeed. Also, we are proud of our record of keeping most of our clients out of Court.
Why is this happening?
We think that at least one party in many divorces feels that they are going to be left in a very poor financial position. In a good financial situation many feel able to take a long term view and decide they can get over the issues caused but in this recession it seems many are saying "Hell, I am going for broke" and just seeing what the Judge decides.
We will keep advising sensible settlements and keeping down the cost of divorce. If all other law firms do the same and if the advice is accepted, I think this will be for the good of all people going through a divorce and a financial settlement.