Unfortunately, not all cases lend themselves to amicable resolutions in alternate dispute resolution. In instances of domestic violence, or when a party is intent on trying to hide assets or dissipate assets, or is unfit to parent, the court processes may be required. The Court can issue emergent orders called Orders to Show Cause when the need arises. The Court can compel financial disclosure in the case of a party trying to be less than forthcoming. The Court can compel the use of experts, can sanction recalcitrant parties, and can enforce ignored orders. If a party wishes to divorce, the Court will grant their divorce with or without the participation of the other party. An individual can ignore the court process at their peril. In litigation, all decisions are made by the judge who presides over the case. There is a final determination after evidence and testimony is presented, and that determination is binding on both parties subject to the rights of appeal.
Michele E. D’Onofrio is a family law attorney practicing in Warren, New Jersey.