One of the biggest sticking points I run into as a Pittsburgh family law attorney is alimony in divorce cases. Prospective obligors typically recoil at the thought of providing for their soon to be ex-spouse for the foreseeable future while prospective recipients are often looking to guarantee themselves a certain standard of living going forward. It is this issue that often leads to a break down in settlement negotiations and the parties subsequently heading to trial.
Oh if I could only get my clients to absorb and reflect on one of the most famous lines from "The Godfather" - "Nothing personal, just business." The fact of the matter is -most of what goes on in divorces, after the parties have agreed to go their separate ways and file for divorce, is about business, or money, if you will. Any divorce lawyer that does a semblance of divorce cases knows that after the initial filings the fights are usually about money - be it alimony pendent elite, child support or equitable distribution of assets. However, the same lawyers also know that the vast majority of the clients believe its all personal, which leads to greater acrimony between the parties, causing more fights, less productive negotiations and, as a result, more fees.
The hardest question for a Pennsylvania Divorce Lawyer is determining whether or not a divorce case should be settled or go to trial. In a recent article in the Huffington Post.com, entitled," WHAT DO DIVORCE LAWYERS DO IN THEIR OWN DIVORCES", J Richard Kulerski and Kari Cornelison state that the vast majority of lawyers would "try to stay out of (Divorce) court". They state that "despite any perceived advantage they are believed to have, they do everything they can to settle their case before they reach the court system" because they think going to court is a losing proposition. Their reasoning is that taking the case to court is a counter-productive force that destroys their chance of achieving a healthy negotiating climate. Although I agree that settlement is generally better than fighting it out in Court, sometimes it's just the correct approach and sometimes you do not have an alternative.