- Tracy Duell-Cazes
Reasons to Settle Out of Court
Updated: Nov 22, 2021
Divorce proceedings can be complicated even for the most civil of couples. However, in any case, there are things you and your spouse can do to work through the process while saving you time, money, and stress. Settling your divorce out of court can provide major relief in all three of these categories. With the help of your lawyers and a mediator, settling outside the courtroom can be a much smoother process than going before a judge.
Taking your divorce proceedings to court simply takes much more time than settling out of court. You and your lawyer must invest significantly more time in readying your case for the courtroom than readying it for settlement discussions. To build a strong case for court, you must gather all relevant documents, hire expert witnesses to testify on your behalf, prepare your statements and arguments, and much more. On top of this, the court system is slow. It takes time for your case to go to trial and once you get there, the ruling could still be delayed for weeks or months if the judge takes the case under advisement. Additional appeals cost you still more time afterwards. Altogether, the amount of time spent going through divorce court is many times the amount of time spent settling with your spouse out of court. To prepare for settlement discussions you will still need to gather documents and prepare your settlement position, however, this process is not as intensive as preparing for court.
Going hand in hand with the time you lose in divorce court is the money you lose along the way. Settling out of court can save you the enormous expense of divorce court. If you proceed with going to court instead of settling, lawyer fees and taking time off from work can cost you much more than settling. In addition to having to pay your lawyers for working the extra hours to prepare to present your case in court, you may also have to pay expert witnesses to appear in court for your case. You must also take time off from work to appear in court, which will cost you your wages. These dollars add up fast, and before you know it, the cost of court is far larger than settling. There is also the possibility that even after preparing for your case and going to court, you may lose, resulting in even more money lost.
When you look at the time and money spent on divorce court, it’s no wonder that there is also a higher level of stress attached to divorce court proceedings. When you have to spend more time and money on your divorce, you are much more likely to experience high levels of stress. Going to court is not an easy process, and having your future decided by someone else is stressful to say the least. By settling out of court you can work together with your spouse, your lawyers, and a mediator to reduce the stress of a drawn-out divorce court case into a far less time and money consuming agreement. Navigating your divorce does not have to take all of your resources. By working to settle out of court, you are taking the steps needed to ensure that your divorce doesn’t cost you additional time, money, or stress.