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When should you litigate or settle your divorce?

| May 14, 2021 | Family Law

Every marriage is unique. Likewise, every divorce is different when spouses decide to end their marital relationship. But what type of divorce will bring the best result?

There are many things to consider for determining if working together on a peaceful settlement is the right fit, or whether taking your soon-to-be-ex to court may be necessary for a fair outcome.

Four divorce factors to consider

Nearly 90% of divorces are resolved through mediation, collaboration or negotiation. Before you dig in your heels on any method, especially litigation, work with an experienced family law attorney to assess these four factors:

  • How long will it take?: Going to trial can easily take more than a year, depending upon court schedules. Most settlements typically take a few months.
  • What will it cost?: The longer a divorce takes, the pricier it will be in attorney fees, court fees and other related expenses. Trials can run into the five-digit range. Each case is different, but some settlements can cost a few thousand dollars.
  • How much stress can I handle?: Trials are generally long and contentious where spouses fixate on past grievances, leading to more anxiety and anger. Settlements are usually peaceful, focusing on the future, and spouses control where and when they meet.
  • How do I get the best outcome?: If both spouses agree on most issues, settlements are typically the best approach. However, if one or both spouses won’t budge on dividing marital assets or time-sharing for children, the only option for a fair outcome may be to go to court.

Focus on reason and not emotion

In divorce and custody matters, judges only want to hear law-based reasoning over why you deserve a more significant share of marital assets or parenting time with your kids. They don’t want to listen to grievances about a spouse.

Most divorcing couples strive to work together for a fair outcome. However, if that is not possible, remember that you agree to let a judge make personal decisions affecting the rest of your life by going to court.

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Christine Sue Cook has earned a reputation in the legal community for her professionalism and among her clients for the care and personal attention she gives to every case.