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Family law matters: Should you settle or go to trial?

On Behalf of | Mar 18, 2024 | Family Law |

Dealing with family law matters involves many difficult decisions. Each family member has different needs, making it hard to find solutions that please everyone. Whether it’s about divorce, child custody or other issues, choosing to settle out of court or letting a judge decide is pivotal. Whichever you decide to go with may shape how you experience this challenging time and the outcome of your case.

The pros and cons of settling out of court

Settling out of court means both parties mutually agree on disputes without involving a judge or jury. This path can save you from the money and stress of a lengthy trial. Moreover, you and the other party will not go against each other but choose to work together.

If you value privacy and believe it is better to talk things out with the other party, settlement negotiations may be for you. Although settling may not give you everything you want, it does let you have more say over the outcome. Rather than taking a chance with the judge, you can craft an agreement you both are comfortable with.

Willingness to compromise is important. However, finding an agreement can be challenging if you and the other party do not get along.

The pros and cons of going to trial

When settlement negotiations only cause you more problems, seeking court intervention may be the better route. A judge will decide based on what each party presents, the evidence and other factors. If you believe you have a stronger case, a trial may be more beneficial to you. A trial also follows a more structured process, which might be what you need to handle complex matters.

However, trials can drag on, draining you of resources and energy. Appearing before a judge can be nerve-racking, while the legal process can be frustrating. Many times, the discussions in family court hearings lead to damaged relationships.

Factors to consider when deciding

When it is time to choose between settling or going to trial, consider what you can handle. Trials can involve a lot of time and money, which can sometimes be too much. Meanwhile, settlements are quicker but demand readiness to work together with the other party.

Facing family law matters is never easy, but there are people who can help. An attorney can guide you and stand by your side throughout your case. Beyond advocating for your best interests, they can also help you weigh the benefits and risks of your choices. Having someone to lean on in these tough times can make a significant difference.