How to Know When to Settle When Going Through a Divorce

Negotiation is an unavoidable part of divorce. Whether your case is simple or complex, you and your spouse must decide how assets will be divided, debate whether or not you will share child custody, and discuss dozens of other details. Though you may lose some rights if you are unfairly or poorly represented, compromise is an unavoidable part of this process. Knowing when to settle can even help ease the strain of a divorce for both you and your children.

Know When to Settle

When you divorce, you will likely sit down with a San Diego family attorney to go over your options. If needed, he or she will employ the expert analysis of real estate and financial appraisers, estimating the value of your family’s assets, and accounting for you and your partner’s roles in the marriage. Your spouse will probably go through the same process with his or her own legal team. This can lead to months or years of exhaustive work and astounding fees. Compromising on some details can help you settle out of court, but it can also help you avoid these issues:

  • Losing. If you stand before a judge, he or she will rule in one party’s favor; every case has a winner and a loser. You may expect to go to court and come out with everything on your list, but you could lose everything. Arguing publicly like this can also be a devastating experience for children involved.
  • An unfair judgement. You will not stand before a social worker or a mental health professional. You will stand before a judge. He or she will evaluate the evidence and make a decision in your family’s best interests – which may be at your expense. Thus, if you want to ensure a fair outcome, it is often better to settle outside a courtroom. Spouses can say whatever they want before a judge, and the winning party is not always the honest one.

Lastly, judges are not perfect. They deliberate and make decisions, but there is no guarantee that they will make the right one. Attempting to right such wrongs calls for appeals and further expenses added to an already hefty bill.

  • Insurmountable expenses. A messy divorce can take years and millions of dollars in legal fees. You may also face missed work and emotional stress.

Settling can help you avoid these issues, and if both parties are cooperative, a simple mitigation may be all it takes. Of course, this is not always possible. Even if you want a peaceful outcome, there are some situations you need to dispute in court.

Know When to Litigate

Though the system is slow and the process trying, it is often impossible to settle out of court. Here are a few ways to know when you must contest your case before a judge:

  • Total failure to negotiate. Are you stuck on custody details, like who gets Thanksgiving and Christmas? Or is your partner trying to cut you out of the picture completely? If the latter is true, it may not matter how much you negotiate. If one spouse refuses to compromise or behave reasonably, a court hearing may be the only way to protect your rights.
  • You will gain more than you lose. Think about your financial situation; do you stand to benefit more in or out of court? For instance, your home may not be worth the cash you spend fighting for the property. If the assets you stand to lose are more valuable than what you would spend in court, it may be worth your time. An experienced divorce attorney in San Diego, CA can helpful you calculate these costs.

Unfortunately, courts are often unavoidable if you are trying to negotiate with an abusive or unreasonable spouse. This may also be the case if you suspect assets are not reported correctly. For more information on your legal options and whether arguing before a judge is worth your time, contact the experts at Boyd Law.