Just as marital relationships are different for each couple, the divorce process is unique when spouses decide to end their marriage.
In most cases, divorcing partners want to make the experience as quick and painless as possible, especially if they have children. But it’s not always that easy.
Should you settle or litigate your divorce?
While fewer than 10% of divorces make it to a trial, sometimes litigation may be necessary. Along with consulting an experienced family law attorney, consider these four factors:
- Length of the process: Settlements can take a few months as spouses dictate where and when they meet and how often. Litigation can take over a year as you are at the mercy of the court’s calendar.
- Cost of the process: Divorce trials take longer and are more expensive – some can run well into the five-digit range. While each case varies, settlements typically can be achieved for a few thousand dollars.
- Managing stress levels: A longer and costlier process focusing on contentious issues can add more anxiety for everyone. Mediation, collaboration or negotiation generally focus on the future and not past areas of disagreement.
- Getting an equitable result: Nearly 90% of divorcing couples work together to settle their differences out of court. However, when one or both spouses refuse to cooperate over dividing assets and custody of their children, the only logical way to get a favorable outcome may be through litigation.
Preparing a fact-based divorce strategy
Strong emotions are understandably a significant effect of marital discord and the divorce process. However, getting the best outcome is usually dependent upon developing a reasonable strategy with the help of your lawyer.
Judges want to hear the legal reasons behind why you deserve a larger share of marital assets or more time with your kids. They rarely like to listen to grievances about an ex-spouse. Keeping a cool head and focusing on the future can help you save time and money and reduce stress.