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Should you go to trial or settle your divorce?

Most people who decide to end their marriage have the same thought – “I want this to be over as soon as possible.” While divorcing spouses understandably want a quick and painless process, sometimes “quick” doesn’t result in an agreement that ensures their financial and emotional well-being.

That’s why North Carolinians are advised to work with an experienced family law attorney who can help you sort through those feelings to arrive at the best outcome. Sometimes, that can happen through amicable negotiations, while others may need to litigate their divorce.

Four divorce factors to consider

When it comes to choosing between going to court or working with your soon-to-be-ex through mediation or collaboration, these four components can help plot the best course for you:

  • Length of the divorce: Settlements usually only take a few months when spouses cooperate. Trials can take well over a year, depending upon the court’s schedule.
  • Cost of the process: While each case is different, settling a divorce can cost only a few thousand dollars. But the longer the process goes, the costlier it becomes. Trials can run well into the five-digit range.
  • Dealing with stress: The longer a contentious divorce takes, the more stressful it will likely be for you and your family. By working together, you control the process and can focus on the future. Trials generally focus on past areas of conflict.
  • Getting the best results: While everyone wants less stress and fewer expenses, going to court may be the sensible option if your spouse won’t negotiate over dividing marital assets or determining custody of your kids.

Put your family’s best interests ahead of emotion

In some cases, the end of a marriage can spark strong emotions over “getting even” with an unfaithful or neglectful spouse. While those feelings may be warranted, going to court to get “back at them” may not be the best thing for your future.

An experienced attorney who is focused on your needs can guide you through the process and help assess the type of divorce that results in an equitable outcome with the least amount of cost and conflict, leading to a brighter future.