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No one wants to take a divorce to court, but doing so can give you leverage

Separated spouses understandably want to get through the divorce process as quickly and efficiently as possible. Even if very difficult decisions have to be made, the parties try to address their differences so that the emotional and financial strain, which is already heavy, is kept at a minimum. The spouses just want to move on with their lives and put the marriage behind them.

This is far from easy, however, and many spouses have to go to court to reach a fair divorce agreement. Maybe one spouse refuses to offer a fair deal in terms of property division, or maybe a spouse refuses to provide the information needed to accurately value the matrimonial property and divide it. If this is your situation, then going to court could provide the leverage you need to negotiate a fair settlement and move on with your life.

Keep in mind that going to court does not necessarily mean that your divorce will go to trial, but preparing your case as if it will go to trial will let the other party know that you fully intend to settle for nothing less than a fair agreement that respects your rights and interests. It is important, then, to have a skilled litigator on your side.

In many cases, the dispute initially goes before a judge, but the divorce is later settled out of court. With intelligent legal advice and a sophisticated strategy, you can ensure that your financial future is protected every step of the way.

Elliot S. Birnhoim, the founder of, is a family law and commercial litigator. To learn more about his legal practice, please visit the property division section of

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