Most divorcing couples in Minnesota want to make the process as painless as possible, especially if they have children. That’s not always easy.
Couples who work together during their divorce save time, money and stress. However, a peaceful process isn’t always possible when one spouse won’t compromise over dividing assets or sharing time with their kids.
Four considerations that can dictate the divorce process
A majority of couples use mediation, negotiation or collaboration to settle their divorce. Those who can’t agree typically resort to litigation and let a judge decide the outcome. Here are four factors to consider when choosing between litigation and cooperation:
- Time: Settlements typically take a few months, and spouses determine when and where they meet. Trials can last more than a year, and your schedule is determined by the court’s calendar.
- Cost: The longer the process takes, the more it will cost. Trials can run well into the five-digit range with attorney fees and court costs. While each divorce is different, settlements can be achieved for a few thousand dollars.
- Stress: The more time a divorce takes, and the more it costs, the more stressful the process will likely be. Trials are, by nature, contentious and focus on areas of past disagreements. Mediation and collaboration are more focused on the future and give both parties flexibility to determine the subjects and tone of their discussions.
- Outcome: Of these four factors, this is the one where going to trial may be your best or only option. If your spouse wants a greater share of marital assets or more time with your kids and won’t compromise, taking them to trial may the only way for an equitable outcome.
Choose reason over emotion
It’s advisable to work with an experienced family law attorney who understands the benefits of mediation or collaboration but will fight diligently for you in court if necessary.
Couples who work together determine their own futures instead of leaving those issues up to a judge. For parents, cooperation during divorce also helps establish a mechanism to work through future disagreements involving their children.