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Should you settle your divorce or go to trial?

| May 3, 2021 | Family Law

The vast majority of divorcing spouses in Connecticut and across the U.S. hope to make the process as easy and painless as possible. Statistics show that fewer than 10% of all divorces go to trial.

However, everyone’s issues are different, and the manner of divorce they pursue should appropriately reflect their unique challenges. But how do you know whether it’s better to settle or litigate?

Consider these four factors for choosing the best divorce method

Divorce can be overwhelming, and some want to get it over with sooner rather than later. While the process can be complicated, especially for high-net-worth couples, the decision to negotiate or let a judge decide can effectively be answered by considering these four components:

  • Time: Going to trial can take well over a year due to court calendars and other factors. Settlements typically take only a few months.
  • Monetary expense: The longer the process takes, the more you’ll pay in attorney fees. Trials also include court costs, and the process can reach well into the five-digit range. Mediation or collaboration can usually be achieved for a few thousand dollars.
  • Emotional cost: Trials take longer and are confrontational, leading to more stress. Those who negotiate control the process, such as where and when they meet. Trials generally focus on past areas of disagreements, while settlements are more forward-looking.
  • Best possible outcome: This factor may be the only one of the four where going to trial is the best option, mainly when one or both spouses refuse to negotiate over dividing marital assets or establishing custody for their children.

Choose reason over emotion

Working with an experienced family law attorney can help you sort through these options when deciding the best course of action for your divorce. Remember, if you choose to go to court, you allow a judge to make all the vital decisions affecting the end of your marriage and the beginning of your new life.

Avoid the urge to dig in your heels for litigation as a way to get back at a spouse, even if they were unfaithful or neglectful. Judges want law-based reasons why you deserve a larger share of marital property or more time with the kids. They typically don’t what to hear grievances against a spouse.