Divorce Dilemma: How To Determine Whether To Settle Or Fight To Trial

Posted on: 2 September 2021

A divorce typically involves various issues, such as child custody and support, property division, and spousal maintenance. Many times, the divorcing parties end up disagreeing on most of these issues. As long as both parties don't come to an amicable agreement, the divorce will drag on for months. If you are trying to finalize the process fast, it's essential to know when to settle or keep fighting. Below are four crucial tips to help you determine the best course of action for your divorce case.

Abandon the Winning Mentality

It's normal to approach a divorce settlement with the thought of winning and getting everything you want. However, most divorces aren't about winning everything. If you get full custody of your kids, you may need to accept a lower amount of alimony than expected. Therefore, unless you want to fight for years, don't go in with the winning mentality. Instead, come up with an agreement that safeguards the interests of all the parties.

Determine Your Areas of Compromise

As seen above, finalizing a divorce fast may require either party to make a few compromises. However, you must ensure that the other party doesn't take advantage of your willingness to compromise. To do so, determine the areas where you are willing to bargain. Are you ready to take a smaller percentage of the marital property? Are you willing to give up full child custody for shared parenting? Making such decisions beforehand will help you decide whether to settle or keep fighting for your interests.

Assess the Financial and Emotional Sense of Fighting

Divorce can cost a family on many levels. Besides paying for divorce attorneys, the parties have to deal with the emotional burden. Therefore, dragging the process on for months or years comes at a great financial and emotional cost. Assess what you are fighting for and the ultimate cost. For example, it's not ideal to go to court over property worth $30,000, only to spend more than half of the amount on legal expenses. Settling may save you money and protect your kids from the psychological effects of divorce.

Avoid Hasty Decisions

Divorce is an emotional process; therefore, you can easily make hasty decisions that may hurt your interests. For example, if you are going through a nasty divorce, you may decide to settle simply to avoid seeing your ex-partner. Similarly, anger may cause either party to hastily push for litigation. Before deciding whether to settle or fight, it's crucial to talk to your attorney. Your lawyer will assess the terms of the offer and advise you on whether to push for better terms or go to court.

Consider the above tips when deciding whether to settle your divorce case or opt for litigation. For additional information, contact a family law attorney.