Divorce can prompt anger, dismay and regret for many people, especially when they look back on what may now seem like wasted years. Some unhappy spouses will be tempted to push for a divorce trial in family court. While their anger may well be justified, the courtroom is not always the best place to address those concerns. There are several reasons why a couple will want to settle their divorce case rather than go to trial.
Many people want to finalize a divorce as quickly as possible so that they can move on, even if they are dealing with outstanding issues over child custody, property division and other divorce legal matters. In this case, a negotiated settlement may be the way to proceed as it can shave months off of the time needed for a trial. Family courts often have significant delays, and many judges will strongly encourage both parties to aim for a settlement before moving forward with a trial. Of course, with the longer time frame for a trial, both parties are also likely to face heftier legal expenses and court costs.
A settlement may be the best approach for many couples, especially if their family law attorneys are part of the negotiating process. Still, a trial might be necessary in certain cases. An example would be if one spouse is intransigent and refuses to concede on key issues in the negotiations.
A divorce trial may not be the best mechanism to express grievances, but it could be an important way to seek an equitable outcome on disputed issues. In either case, a family law attorney may provide strong representation for a divorcing spouse during settlement negotiations or at trial.