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Family Court: An Exercise in Frustration

By: Allison Schreiber Lee

Getting divorced or modifying a prior judgment in family court can be frustrating. Why won’t my ex settle? Why does it take so long to get to court? Why do I have to spend money on attorneys’ fees when all I want is to be done? The list of frustrations could go on and on and the answers to that list are far from satisfying.

A case may take a long time because of the number of cases pending before the judge, because your opposing counsel is not responding as promptly as you wish to a settlement proposal, to a question you have, or in general. A case may take a long time to resolve because one (or both) parties or attorneys are unreasonable in their expectation of what the final outcome should be. A case may have a high level of fees because of information that has to be discovered, investigations that have to occur, and interests that have to be protected.

So what’s a person to do who is caught in the middle of this kind of frustrating situation? Learn to live in limbo. It’s an unsatisfactory answer to an unsatisfactory situation, and yet, because there is little that can be done, it’s really all you can do. It may also be helpful to get a therapist who can assist you in managing your emotions so that you don’t act out in a manner that would ultimately not be beneficial to your case, simply because you are aggravated. Family law attorneys know how difficult this process can be, but they also know the limitations that this admittedly imperfect system imposes. Talking to an attorney who can give you a realistic idea of what can and can’t be done, like those at Paule, Camazine & Blumenthal, P.C. is often helpful.


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Allison Schreiber Lee

Allison Schreiber Lee

Allison Schreiber Lee is a seasoned trial attorney and has been lead counsel in more than 40 jury trials. In 2011, Ms. Schreiber Lee was co-lead counsel in one of the longest jury trials in the history of the City of St. Louis. Ms. Lee has also tried more than 100 non-jury trials to verdict, including representation in divorce and modification hearings.