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Divorce Litigation or a Divorce Settlement: Which Is Better?

Divorce Litigation or a Divorce Settlement: Which Is Better?

Posted By Meyers Law Group, P.C. || 7-Aug-2014

Not every couple is a candidate for divorce mediation. But no one wants to spend years in divorce court, much less pay six figures for the contentious split. All the same, there can come a time when negotiations seem to go nowhere, and you can't help but feel that a divorce settlement is out of the question. You decide that your case should go before a judge.

The thing is, only about 5% of divorces actually reach the trial phase. Even with a contested divorce, most divorces will be settled pre-trial. If you are contemplating the drastic step of going forward to a trial, there are a few questions you can ask yourself first.

1. What is it that you and your spouse can't agree on?

Even if there is dissension over a stipulation that involves custody and visitation, alimony, and retirements funds, these could still be settled in mediation or through divorce attorneys who are good at reaching fair settlements.

If, on the other hand, your arguments are extreme, one parent contending for sole child custody, a spouse hiding assets, it may be time for a court to intervene. However, there is still the potential costs of years and lengthy legal fees to consider; you may want to see if you have any other options.

2. Do you have the time and funds for divorce litigation?

The reality is, you stand a good chance of spending more on court costs than you could ever win from the divorce. And you might not even win, ending up with a worse arrangement than you would have received in a settlement before trial. It is a tricky line, determining when you need to stand up for what is fair, and when you need to back down in order to stem financial losses.

3. Is the stress of a divorce trial going to be worth it?

Perhaps you feel up for the ordeal, prepared to assert your rights in a legal marathon. But if you are unsure if the process will be worth it to you, or if you have children to think about, you may want to rethink your legal strategy before you drag your divorce out for years in a public proceeding.

4. Do you really want a judge to decide for you?

In divorce mediation or a divorce settlement, spouses agree to and even create their own terms for a divorce. If you go to court, however, almost everything related to your future lies in the hands of a stranger. What's more, you do not get to select a judge, and you have no control over what his or her preferences or biases will be, whether or not they will share your viewpoint.

In short, divorce litigation is a big, big risk, with a substantial chance that you will go through a grueling process only to find yourself in dire financial circumstances. But of course, the divorce process is not entirely up to you: if your spouse simply will not reach any agreement with you, the only option might be litigation. In this case, you will need a tough attorney on your side, someone who can guide you through this long process and help you come away ready for an independent, successful life. Learn more about how our Long Island divorce attorney can provide be the savvy negotiator and gritty advocate you need for your divorce. Feel free to call the Meyers Law Group, P.C. at your earliest convenience.

Reach us today to learn more about your rights and legal options!

Categories: Divorce