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When should I take my divorce to trial?

The majority of couples going through divorce want to get the process over as quickly as possible. This is not surprising since divorce is difficult on many levels, from the financial to the emotional. The quickest way to resolve a divorce is to settle, but that requires both sides to be reasonable and well prepared by their attorneys. If you and your spouse are not able to reach agreements about property division, child custody and other matters, then you don’t have any other choice but to take your case to trial and this decision should not be made lightly. Have the difficult conversation(s) with your attorney about the amount of time and money you want to invest in your divorce as well as your projected outcomes when making this decision (i.e. best and worst case scenarios, legal fees, emotional cost, etc.).


Making a good faith effort to work together with your estranged spouse to negotiate a settlement as that, of course, tends to be the cheaper option. If you take your divorce to trial, it is likely you will need to spend more time with your attorney as compared to settling. This drives up the cost of the process (not to mention having to incur expert witness fees and other litigation costs). When considering whether or not to go to trial, it’s not just about the money. There is a big time commitment involved too. First of all, you will need to wait for the court to make time in the docket for your case. This can potentially take months. Trial can be a time-consuming endeavor.


This depends on your particular situation. For couples that are divorcing amicably, settling is usually a good path to an agreeable outcome for both parties. However, in contentious divorces, going to trial may make sense in order to protect your interests, your share of the property or your relationship with your child. Keep in mind that if you take a divorce to trial, you are going to have to prove to the judge in no uncertain legal terms why you should get whatever you are seeking. Taking a case to trial just to “say your piece” is not recommended. A skilled attorney will be able to offer you customized advice on the pros and cons of trial in your specific situation, and will be able to advocate for you in front of a judge in pursuit of the best possible outcome for you. The attorneys at OWM Law are just that…skilled and ready to represent your best interests. Contact OWM Law to discuss your legal needs.

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