Almost two years ago, in fact, one of the first blog posts even on this blog, I authored a post entitled "All Cases Have a Life of their Own." I just finished a case this week that gave me reason to think about this post again.
In this case, one party just didn’t want to get a divorce. It did not make a difference that the other spouse made clear in no uncertain terms that the divorce was going to happen. In fact, because the spouse asked the other to reconcile every single day, knowing that it would upset the other spouse, that spouse heard every day that the marriage was over. Even the children’s therapist advised that that spouse should move out given the impact of that spouse’s continued presence on the children, etc. Nothing sunk in. Eventually, the finality of the trial date, in fact on the trial date, did the matter finally settle, but not without several last ditch attempts not to proceed with the divorce. The real shame is that substantial fees had to be incurred to prepare for trial – an unavoidable problem because one spouse held out hope for reconciliation until the bitter end.
I have another matter, where a spouse is refusing to make settlement proposal but is demanding a settlement conference. It seems clear that the desire is to get the other spouse in a room to bully that spouse into a settlement or otherwise because there is the expectation that the other spouse will capitulate just as always occur ed during the marriage.
Some spouses refuses to provide discovery or comply with others, hoping to wear the other spouse down.
The bottom line is that hopefully the put upon spouse will stay strong and not fall prey to the other parties unreasonable if not bad faith conduct. More importantly, hopeful the Court’s will protect that party with a fair and generous award of counsel fees.