In most family law cases, I often have to remind myself of the importance of patience. As a family law attorney, we are always coming across the same issues, wherein the opposing party decides to thwart all efforts at our completing the discovery process. These efforts are particularly troublesome when our clients have concerns about the welfare of their children. It can become extremely difficult to move a case along, due to the opposing parties inaction, which only causes our client's concerns to grow by the day.
Fortunately, our office is able to provide our clients with some tools to help a case along when the opposing side is either doing something to keep a case from going forward, or doing nothing when some action has been requested.
I can file motions for enforcement, and I can follow up with the courts on those motions if they're not initially acted upon. These are tools that, unfortunately for clients, make a case more expensive, but they're sometimes necessary measures to keep a case from languishing.
I also make every effort to work with the opposing counsel in resolving a case. That's not always easy: Some family lawyers can be aggressive in their approach, rough in their style, and generally difficult to work with. In those cases, I strive to be fair and diplomatic, but firmly behind my client. When opposing counsel wants a fight, I ready myself and my client for that fight.
But when family law cases go to the courtroom, they can get more costly and more contentious than a lot of people have the stomach for. I find that by offering mediation as an option, some conflicts can be resolved before they go to court. In some cases, the mediation process fulfills the wishes of those involved in the dispute, allowing a neutral party to hear both sides and then help both parties come to a resolution, without the extra cost, hassle, and audience that court can bring.
It's also possible that the good faith effort of wanting to work out a solution can be enough to convince opposing counsel to bring his or her client to the table. If it's clear that continuing to not budge is going to be futile, many lawyers would rather conclude the case and move on to settling new disputes, rather than revisiting a case involving hopelessly dug-in clients.