The decision to end a once-loving relationship can be devastating, and most divorcing partners want to make the process as easy as possible. Most divorces end in a settlement, as statistics show fewer than 10% actually go to trial.
It is not advisable to take your soon-to-be-ex to court as a way to get back at them, even if they were unfaithful or dishonest. Still, litigation may make sense, in some cases, when your spouse refuses to cooperate over custody matters or dividing assets.
Settle or go to court?
Along with consulting with an experienced divorce lawyer, here are four factors for weighing the best strategy for your case:
- Time: Divorce trials can take more than a year, while settlements typically take a few months.
- Cost: The longer the case goes, the more expensive it will be. The difference could be tens of thousands of dollars depending upon your situation.
- Stress: The longer the process plays out and the more it costs, it will likely take a greater emotional toll on you and your loved ones.
- Outcome: This factor alone may be the best or only reason for going before a judge when your partner demands a greater-than-equitable share of marital assets or time with the kids.
Choose reason over emotion
While anger may be justified for some spouses, “having your day in court” to tell your side of the story is not a good reason to go to trial. Judges don’t want to hear grievances but rational arguments on why you deserve a larger percentage of assets or more time with the children.
Mediation, negotiation or collaboration may be the best route to control the process instead of leaving all the major decisions up to the judge. Working with a compassionate attorney who understands all these options can help you find the most equitable path to your new life.