Divorce cases range from a fast, easy and uncontested process to a long, drawn-out battle that drains financial and emotional resources.
An uncontested divorce that can settle out of court is the least expensive option, and it allows couples to work through the process faster so they can move on with their lives.
A divorce case ends up in front of a judge when partners cannot agree on the property division or custody arrangements and when one of the parties is not entering the process willingly. When couples can work through asset distribution and custody issues, the divorce process mostly consists of paperwork. If the individuals and their attorneys cannot accomplish this goal, it still is not too late to avoid court. In that case, mediation may be an option to help work through a settlement. Letting a judge make all the decisions may be faster, in some cases, but once it goes to court, the individuals no longer have control of the outcome.
It is a mistake to enter into divorce thinking that the decree is always subject to modification later for the sake of expediency. While some circumstances may merit an adjustment to a divorce agreement, there are no guarantees. More importantly, while settling a divorce out of court is less expensive and usually faster, it is best done with legal counsel to make sure there are no costly mistakes. Overlooking an important detail could result in an unpleasant surprise in the future.
Divorce is difficult, even when it is low-conflict. Avoiding the courtroom not only ensures that decisions remain in the hands of the divorcing couple, but it can also keep the matter out of the public eye.