Should you litigate or settle your divorce?

On Behalf of | Nov 29, 2021 | Divorce |

It depends. Just as every marriage is unique, no two divorces are the same. Most people considering divorce want the process to be as quick and painless as possible, especially if they have children.

But what is best for you likely depends upon many issues, including disputes over equitably dividing marital property and setting the tone for a future parenting relationship with your soon-to-be-ex.

Four divorce considerations

No one wants to go to court. While no hard data exists on the methods, it’s widely accepted that judges determine fewer than 10% of divorces in Florida. Just the thought of ending a marriage can be exhausting and confusing. To keep things in perspective, here are four factors to consider:

How long does it take?

The biggest factor is whether it is contested or uncontested. Uncontested divorces can take a few weeks, while the process for spouses with irreconcilable differences will likely take a few months to more than a year, depending upon the court’s calendar.

What will it cost?

The longer a divorce takes and the more contentious it becomes, the more it will cost. Each case is different, but the expense for spouses who pursue a settlement can be a few thousand dollars. Litigation can run tens of thousands of dollars.

How stressful will the process be?

Divorce is stressful! Trials are contentious by nature, and a lengthy legal battle promises to create more anxiety. Plus, you are at the mercy of the court’s schedule. While settlements aren’t necessarily a walk in the park, they are typically calm, and you and your former partner control the process.

How do I achieve the best outcome?

Litigation may be the only way to reach a fair divorce outcome if your spouse refuses to negotiate in good faith, especially for high net worth couples with complex marital assets, such as businesses, stocks and complicated retirement accounts. But “what’s best” can also be focusing on your children’s needs by working together to preserve a peaceful parenting environment.

Preparation can ease the uncertainty

How you handle divorce depends upon your personality and the issues involved in ending your marriage. However, taking a practical approach can have distinct benefits. That means gathering financial documentation as soon as possible for you and your spouse or seeking legal advice if you’re not sure where and how to find the information.