The vast majority of divorces don’t include much courtroom time. Spouses often find a way to negotiate a settlement that they can both accept without the intervention of a judge.
What about your divorce? If the situation with your spouse has turned contentious, you may be asking yourself if it’s worth your energy to keep negotiating. Maybe you should just let a judge handle it.
Before you make that decision, here’s what you need to consider:
1. How fast do you want this divorce?
If your primary goal is simply to move on, a litigated divorce can drastically slow you down. Once you move to litigation, your divorce could take a year (or more) instead of mere months.
2. Can you handle the stress of litigation?
You may be stressed out now dealing with your spouse’s demands, but litigation can be a lot worse. You can’t escape stress by going this route, so reconsider if that’s your primary objective.
3. Can you afford litigation?
Litigation costs both time and money. Unless you have enough resources of both, you may not find litigation to your liking.
4. Is there something really worth fighting over?
If you and your spouse are both digging your heels in over the living room furniture, it’s time to reassess what really matters. You won’t come out ahead by going through expensive litigation — even if you do win the furniture. Litigation makes sense, however, if you’re fighting over significant assets, support payments or custody of the kids.
Whether litigation is right for you or not usually depends a lot on your individual situation and your goals. An experienced attorney can help you decide.