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Should you settle or go to trial during a divorce?

All divorcing Texas couples hope the process of ending their marriage runs a quick, smooth course. Unfortunately, the reality can be much different for some. Spouses may disagree on many issues: fair division of assets, custody arrangements, child/spousal support details, etc., and sometime during the divorce process, everyone involved may decide going to court and trusting a judge's decision is in everyone's best interest. Divorcing partners should keep in mind a few points before deciding whether to go to trial or to reach a settlement between them.

For one, people planning a trial will likely spend a great deal of time preparing and waiting for trial dates; sometimes the entire process can take a year or more. Most often, those who reach a settlement through negotiation are able to finalize their divorce much more quickly. As well, people need to consider the costs involved in a divorce trial; typically, the cost for preparing a settlement agreement is much lower.

Most divorcing people find, in general, the divorce process negatively impacts their emotional and mental well-being. People involved in a trial will likely find the time and energy required adds to that stress level, often affecting their family relationships. However, if settlement negotiations between a couple have been consistently unsuccessful, a divorcing individual, along with his or her attorney, may decide a trial is worth the time, money and stress.

Texas residents considering going to trial during their divorce are wise to also remember that they are then placing the decision-making authority in the hands of the court, and they must then accept the outcome. Divorcing partners who can negotiate themselves toward an agreement are likely better off, but some may find a trial offers a greater chance at reaching the best outcome. Often, divorcing couples find an attorney experienced in family law a valuable legal resource to help them make these important decisions.

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