At some point, all divorcing couples have to face the question of whether to go to court or settle out of court. While it can be tempting when dealing with a contentious spouse to fight it out in court, there are some definite disadvantages. Illinois residents facing this decision might want to consider several factors when considering their options.
In going to court, divorcing couples agree to let a judge, who likely doesn’t know either party, decide their fate. It’s a gamble that isn’t always worth it. If couples can agree on a fair division of assets and on what’s in the best interest of the children as far as child custody and child support, then it will be an easier decision to settle matters without going before a judge.
However, when couples can’t agree and the stakes are high enough that neither is willing to compromise, a court hearing may be the only option. Going to court will usually be the more expensive option with lawyers’ fees adding up quickly. It will also probably take longer to obtain a divorce if it is done through the court. Hearings have to be scheduled at the court’s convenience, and they may conflict with personal or work plans. Additionally, appearing before a judge can be stressful since there is no guaranteed outcome. There are times, however, when it is the only avenue that makes sense, such as when one party is being completely unreasonable in their demands and refuses to bend.
Regardless of whether a divorce is ultimately settled out of court, through mediation or decided by a judge, an attorney experienced in family law may be able to look at all of the options and decide on the best possible course of action. Having legal assistance may help a divorcing individual make prudent decisions about where to compromise.