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Deciding whether to litigate a divorce

Texas couples who are facing contentious divorces may be trying to decide whether to enter litigation or settle for less than they believe they are due. However, there still may be a compromise between these two extremes. Only about 5 percent of divorces actually end up in litigation, so it is possible that many other couples come to this conclusion as well. There are a few ways to assess whether it is worthwhile to press all the way to a court case or try to continue negotiations without the help of a judge.

One consideration is whether the trial is affordable from both a financial and emotional standpoint. Financially, the cost of a trial could potentially wipe out any gains. Emotionally, a trial can be stressful, but it is also important to consider whether the desire for litigation arises from logic or simply frustration.

Another aspect to explore is what exactly the dispute is over. If spouses disagree on fundamentals such as one believing the other should get no custody or support at all, court may be the only solution. However, if the disagreement is over quantities of time and money, another round at the negotiating table may be worthwhile rather than bringing the issue before a judge.

An important point for individuals to keep in mind is that the situation will not necessarily be improved by bringing a judge into the picture. A judge with children may not be sympathetic to the plight of a stay-at-home parent. However reasonable a plaintiff may feel the case is, there is always the possibility the judge may disagree. An attorney may be helpful during a divorce in ascertaining when it may be time to take matters to court.

Source: Forbes, "Is It Best To Litigate Or Settle?", Jeff Landers, May 22, 2014

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Bruce Turner

In addition to his law degree, Bruce Turner has a master's degree in tax law and is Board Certified in Commercial Real Estate Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.

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