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Should you settle or litigate your divorce?

On Behalf of | Dec 24, 2020 | Divorce |

Even if it’s an amicable decision, ending a marriage is one of the most stressful experiences a person will ever go through. In most cases, spouses want the process to be as quick and painless as possible.

However, sometimes settling is not an option if one or both parties refuse to negotiate in good faith over custody, support or dividing marital assets. But before deciding how to proceed, it’s essential to weigh the options and understand the consequences.

Four divorce considerations

Should you cooperate and settle with your soon-to-be-ex? Should you take him or her to court? Here are the four main factors to weigh:

  • How much time will I spend?: Trials can easily take a year or more, and during the pandemic, there’s a chance the process will go on even longer. Settlements typically take only a few months.
  • How much money will I spend?: The longer the process goes, the more it will cost. Litigation will include not only attorney fees but court costs and related expenses. Settlements can be achieved for a few thousand dollars, while trials can run five digits.
  • Can I handle the stress?: Mediation and negotiation are typically less stressful for everyone. Going to court is, by nature, an adversarial process, which can be even more painful. What’s more, it can lead to a contentious co-parenting relationship.
  • How do I get a fair outcome?: When a spouse refuses to meet you halfway over child custody, dividing assets or support payments, litigation may be the only way you can get an equitable result.

Focus on facts and reason

Spouses with unfaithful or abusive partners may be justified in wanting to have their “day in court” to resolve differences. However, pursuing litigation to “get back” at a spouse is rarely a good idea. Judges want fact-based arguments on why you deserve a larger share of marital assets or more parenting time. They’re typically not interested in refereeing grievances.

Working with an experienced divorce attorney in New Jersey can help you choose the smartest way for securing the optimal result providing solid financial and emotional footing for your new life. A knowledgeable lawyer can achieve this through negotiation or litigation when the other party refuses to work for an equitable outcome.