A: As I see it, it takes two to marry but only one to terminate the marriage via divorce. Then, in a divorce, it only takes one to cause the case to be contested. In Family Court, divorce cases are resolve either by the parties via mutual agreement (uncontested case) or by the court in making findings and ruling (orders) in a contested case. Typically Family Law attorneys charge by the hour. At my office we try to charge a retainer payment that assumes the case will be uncontested and we try to create a plan for the case that causes the case to settle by mutual agreement so that the case can be resolved with less work and charge to the client. If the case becomes a “contested case” then it is hard to predict the ultimate cost. The best we can do here, is to describe the options to the client so that the client can have some control over the costs.
A: This is a question as to the enforceability of family law orders. Orders in family court are unique in that some orders are final and other orders are modifiable. When family law orders are violated in my cases, I think of the options of (1) contempt--which punishes the person who violated the order; or (2) modification--which seeks to enhance the right of the victim of the violation.