When a marriage ends, most spouses want to make their divorce as quick and painless as possible. But just as each marriage is different, so is each divorce.
The vast majority of divorcing couples settle as fewer than 10% end up going before a judge. The process that’s best for you shouldn’t be determined by emotion but instead how you can achieve an equitable outcome.
Four factors in determining the best divorce process
Mediation, collaboration and negotiation are, by far, the most common ways divorcing spouses settle their differences. Here are four considerations that can help decide the best route for you:
- Time: Divorce trials can take more than a year, depending upon the court’s schedule. Settlements typically take a few months.
- Cost: Since they take more time, trials can be costly, with some stretching well into the five-digit range. While each case is different, some settlements can be achieved for a few thousand dollars.
- Stress: A lengthy and contentious trial focusing on past grievances and adding increased costs will likely lead to more stress. Settlements are typically more forward-looking, with both parties controlling where and when they meet.
- Outcome: This factor may be the only one that skews toward litigation. If one or both parties refuse to compromise over dividing marital assets or custody of children, there may be no choice but to go to court to receive a fair outcome.
Focus on equity and not emotion
Some people may think of divorce as a way to get back at an unfaithful or neglectful spouse. While those feelings may be justified, judges want to hear law-based arguments over why you deserve a more significant chunk of marital assets or more time with your kids.
Keeping those emotions in check is crucial. Working with an experienced family law attorney can help you stay on track to work for the best possible and least costly result, which can help you start your new life on solid ground.