When to settle and when to litigate in a divorce

| Mar 27, 2020 | Family Law

People in Connecticut who are going through a divorce may want to try to reach an agreement through negotiation. When one spouse is making an unfavorable offer regarding property division and child custody and appears unwilling to budge, the other may need to decide whether it would be better to settle or go to court.

Settlement can save time and money. Preparing for court takes time, and court dates are usually set months in advance. The process can also be costly, running to five or six figures. Litigation is also stressful. People may need to provide information at times with very little notice, stopping work or child care to do so. It can be hard on children as well and can drive a wedge between parents, affecting their later co-parenting relationship.

There are situations in which litigation might be a better choice. Some people may feel they have a strong case, and going to court may be the only way to get the outcome they want. They might want to consult an attorney regarding how proceedings are likely to go. They should also keep in mind that the outcome might not be the one they want. At that point, they will either have to accept it or spend more money on appeals.

Some situations involving child custody might require going into litigation. For example, a parent who is concerned about an international abduction may want the court to put provisions in place to help prevent it. In other cases, a parent may be concerned about the child’s safety with the other parent because of substance or domestic abuse. The parent might need to present documentation, such as a police report. The parent might be restricted to supervised visitation that will only be lifted if certain actions are taken, such as completing a rehabilitation program.