When ending a marriage, many partners do their best to make the divorce process as easy and painless as possible, but sometimes that can be very difficult to accomplish.

Disputes can arise over child custody and dividing assets when both parties cannot come to an agreement on their own. Those conflicts often lead to a contentious battle.

Issues to consider over settling vs. going to court

There are many questions to consider if you and your spouse can’t agree on a divorce settlement, such as:

  • How long does a trial take?: Divorce litigation can last more than a year, which is several months longer than a typical settlement. You will likely have to take time off from work to prepare for your case and attend court proceedings.
  • How much will a trial cost?: Expenses will continue to add up the longer it goes. In addition to attorney fees, you’ll pay court costs and other associated expenses. Some estimates put the total amount in the high five-digit range.
  • What about the emotional toll?: The longer a divorce goes on, it’s likely to have a bigger impact on your emotional health as well as your family’s. Stress over the process can spill over and dominate your everyday life.
  • What is the best financial outcome?: This is likely the key consideration where a trial may make economic sense, especially in a high-asset divorce. If you and your partner are unable to agree on a fair settlement through mediation or a collaborative process, your only option may be litigation.

Avoid making a decision based on emotion

While it may be tempting to air your grievances in court, especially if your spouse was unfaithful, that is not usually a good reason to take your case before a judge. Courts want to hear logical and pragmatic reasons why you deserve a greater share of marital assets or more time with your children.

And remember, if you go to court, you are giving away your authority to make decisions, and you must be willing to accept the outcome. Consulting with an experienced and compassionate family law attorney can help you weigh the choices and make the best decision for you and your family.