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How to choose between settlement and litigation in divorce

| Mar 10, 2020 | Divorce

When people in Texas are going through a divorce, they might try to negotiate an agreement for child custody or property division. However, they may be unable to reach an agreement, or one spouse might simply be uncooperative. It could be necessary to decide whether to settle or to continue on to negotiation.

If time is a factor, settling may be the best option. Litigation can take months, a year or even longer. First, there is the time to prepare, and then there is setting the court date, which is usually several months out. People should also consider the potential cost of litigation. Settling is almost always cheaper while litigation can run higher than $10,000 or even $100,000 in some cases.

Some people underestimate the stress of litigation. It is like being on call for months at a time, and individuals may sometimes need to drop everything to get information for an attorney. This can interfere with work and family time and put a strain on children as well. It can also damage the future co-parenting relationship. However, people may find that litigation is the right choice if they have a strong case and the other spouse simply will not budge. It might be the only chance to get the preferred outcome.

Divorce is rarely an easy process, but an attorney may be able to help a person determine the best possible approach. In a community property state like Texas, marital property is supposed to split equally, but in practice, there can be variations in how this is done. Mediation may help even couples who are experiencing conflict reach a resolution instead of going to litigation. One advantage of mediation is its focus on an agreement that both parties are happy with. This is in contrast to the more adversarial approach of litigation.

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