Settling your divorce case has advantages that going to trial over does not:
- Control. The parties have control over the outcome. Even if you are confident that you have a winning argument, you are rolling the dice when you leave the decision up to the judge.
- Money. You will save thousands of dollars in attorney fees. Attorney fees leading up to trial is expensive. If you cannot settle the matter, the fees for trial preparation and trial is costly. You may need to hire experts to testify and prepare reports which are costs over and above attorney fees.
- Time. Cases can last months or even years depending on the complexity of the case and the court schedule.
- Stress. Battling with your spouse and especially if you have children is costly to your emotional well being.
Neither party to a settlement walks away happy with every term of the agreement. On the other hand, rest assuredly neither party will be completely happy with all of the judge’s decisions either.
If there is an issue that is a close call, the judge will look for a tipping point. Sometimes that tipping point is so minuscule and the losing party will be scratching their head to try and understand why they did not win on that issue. Therefore, it is best to try and settle as many issues as possible.
Settlement does not mean you have to agree on every issue of the case. A partial settlement allows the parties to come to an agreement on some issues and can leave the unresolved issues for the judge to decide.
Fighting over principle is not a reason to litigate when there are issues that can be resolved if the parties are willing to compromise. That being said, there are times that settlement is not possible and you need to take the case to trial.
Either way, whether you settle your case or go to trial, it is always advisable to contact an experienced divorce lawyer to help you navigate these waters.