It can often be faster, easier and less expensive to settle a divorce case instead of going to trial. However, there is no guarantee that your former spouse is going to agree to terms that you believe are fair and reasonable. Let’s look at some reasons to go to trial and some reasons why you may want to avoid doing so.
You could get more by going to trial
There is a chance that you could get a larger share of marital property or custody of your children by taking your case to a judge. There is also a chance that you will be able to obtain a larger alimony or child support check each month by going to court.
A spouse will be compelled to cooperate
Your spouse may try to play hardball during negotiation sessions in an effort to frustrate you. He or she may know that you don’t have a lot of money to spend on an attorney or that you would rather settle than put your kids through a nasty divorce fight. However, by taking a case to trial, a judge will likely order your former partner to turn over documents or take other steps to negotiate in good faith.
Trials can be expensive
While there are good reasons to take a case to trial, one of the pitfalls of doing so is that they can cost thousands of dollars. In some cases, they can take up to a year or more to complete. This means that you will likely be paying attorney fees and court costs for several months or more. You may also have to take time off of work to appear in court or pay for someone to watch your kids while you are there.
If you are currently in the process of getting a divorce, it may be best to seek the advice of a legal representative. This might allow you to learn more about your rights and how to preserve them regardless of how a divorce proceeding is resolved.