Sometimes called the “Litigation Process,” traditional-divorce decisions are made for the parties by a judge, or sometimes by a jury. There are very strict rules about what information may be presented to the decision-maker, who may have never seen the parties before, and who may never see them again.
Positives: Litigation provides certain resolution for people who cannot find a way to settle their differences any other way. The Court system is the only way to “force” a reluctant party to deal with family law issues.
Negatives: Litigation is a process focused on the negative aspects of divorce and other family law matters. It causes people to focus on how they are “right” and the other is “wrong,” when in truth they may simply have different ideas about how their lives should look after divorce. Litigation is expensive, and is destructive to relationships. Even though most cases settle before they ever go to trial, the process of preparing to go to trial, if necessary, causes relationship damage that is difficult - if not impossible - to repair.