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Weighing settlement or trial in a divorce

When people in California decide to divorce, they may face difficult questions as they seek to finalize the end of their marriage. Most people want their divorce to proceed as quickly and easily as possible, but this can be a real challenge when conflicts over property division, child custody or other issues emerge. You may want to finalize a settlement without going to trial, but you cannot force your soon-to-be ex-spouse to come to the negotiating table and deal with these matters in good faith. There are several things to keep in mind if you’re considering whether to go to trial or settle your divorce.

Time and money

Time is one major factor in deciding to settle a divorce. It may take more than a year to go to trial and resolve a divorce, and the trial will be scheduled according to the availability of the court calendar. Preparing for trial is likely to mean more meetings with a divorce attorney as well as time away from work. Overall, you can expect a divorce to be finalized more slowly if you go to trial.

Weighing costs and benefits

You can also expect that it is more costly to go to trial than to settle the matter early on. If the dispute concerns some property division issues, it may be less costly to give up more in the settlement than to go to trial. However, if your spouse is truly resistant to negotiations, the time and money costs associated with a trial may be necessary to bring the matter to a conclusion.

The divorce process can be stressful, especially when it is exacerbated by conflicts over asset division or a parenting plan. A family law attorney may provide advice and representation to help you reach a fair settlement before trial.