Is it better to settle a divorce or go to trial?

Flicker, Kerin, Kruger & Bissada LLP

Most divorcing couples would opt to settle their matters out of court. But when a soon-to-be former couple in California can’t agree on the big issues during the divorce process, litigation may be the best route to take. Couples need to know, however, that by doing so they are giving control to a family court judge who will make decisions for them.

Settling a case privately usually means less time is expended. Going to court could take months or more than a year since everything has to be done by the court’s calendar. Litigation is also usually harder on the pocketbook with court costs, attorney fees and other costs that can add up quickly when going to trial. Coming to a settlement out of court will likely cost much less.

It’s true that sitting across from someone with whom there might be a lot of history and tense emotions might not be the most pleasant thing in the world, but it’s still likely to be much less stressful than going to court. Both people are at the mercy of the court clock and, when summoned, must drop everything and attend, which can create havoc in daily life.

But there may be times when going to trial may be worth all the time and cost, especially when one former spouse thinks he or she isn’t being treated fairly during a divorce or when parents can’t agree on child custody or child support. But California family court judges will make decisions based on the law and not on grudges one person has for another. It might be wise to get independent legal advice to see whether going to court is worth the time, stress and expense.

Share On

Date Archives