• Sunday, 17 February 2019

Divorce Court Is A Casino: The House Always Wins

NEW YORK: Val Kleyman, Esq., founding partner of The Kleyman Law Firm in New York, engaged exclusively in the practice of divorce and family law, has noticed a trend in New York divorces in that the outcome is often comparable to that of high stakes gambling: the House always wins.

The House in this analogy, of course, is made up of the court, matrimonial judges, clerks, and attorneys - the established players in the game of chance and skill that is divorce litigation in New York.

Fighting during divorce in New York today is like going to a casino, which is the court and the entire legal system. There are many games you can play in divorce when you get there, some are high stakes, and some are penny slots, but at the end, the longer you stay in this divorce process and play, the more likely it is that you will lose all your money to the House, says Kleyman.

Between the cost of court appointed attorneys for children, forensic psychologists and accountants, real estate and business appraisers, lawyers' fees and court fees, the average couple in divorce litigation can drain a lifetime of savings in a matter of months. Hiring skilled attorneys is the equivalent of hiring a professional poker player: you increase your chance of winning, but there are still far too many factors to predict the outcome and the duration of how long you play the game of divorce directly impacts your odds of walking away happy.

Kleyman cautions against a fixation on winning, noting that the court system and the legal professionals within it will have plenty of work regardless of the personal choices made by one or more parties to a divorce. No one is going to stop you from playing out your hand if you want to keep playing, Kleyman says, but the game will eventually come to an end, and you don't want to walk away with nothing - or worse yet, in debt.

While there are times you have to stand strong and protect who and what you love, says Kleyman, in reference to aggressive litigation of custody and support issues, there are also times when cutting the divorce process short through settlement is the best bet of all.


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