Should you settle your divorce or fight it out?

There’s a lot at stake in your divorce. You and your spouse have significant financial holdings, including property and investments. You’re also concerned about how the optics of your divorce may ultimately affect your business, career or social standing in your community, among other issues.

Should you try to come to some kind of agreement with your spouse that allows you to avoid litigation, or should you let the process play out in court? The answer may depend entirely on how willing your spouse may be to negotiate, but there are some advantages to an uncontested divorce. Chief among them:

  • It’s less expensive than litigation. Even if you have to go through collaborative efforts, like mediation, you will likely spend far less on an uncontested divorce than you would by litigating it. That leaves more in the marital coffers to be divided, which puts you in a better position to move forward.
  • It’s usually faster. A contested divorce has the potential to drag on for years. Endless court motions, the involvement of experts, depositions and more can take a lot of time — and you’re at the mercy of the court’s schedule. If you’re ready to move on with your life, an uncontested divorce may be better.
  • You retain more control over the outcome. Once you head to court, all of the decisions belong to the court. If you want solutions that are tailor-made to your situation, not based entirely on statutes and standards, an uncontested divorce is better.
  • You retain more of your privacy. Court proceedings are usually public information. If you’d prefer to keep your finances and the root of your marital discord to yourself, it’s much easier to do that with an uncontested divorce.
  • You may better preserve a working relationship with your ex-spouse. If you have children together, you may have to engage with your ex-spouse for many years. A negotiated divorce may help smooth over a lot of hurt feelings and set the tone for positive communication and cooperation regarding the children in the future.

An uncontested divorce isn’t for everyone — but it is the way that 95% of divorces in this country are settled. Find out more about your legal options by talking over your specific goals (and worries) with your attorney.