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Should you litigate or settle your divorce?

When a marriage ends, issues between a couple can quickly turn contentious. When you can’t even remember why you ever thought your spouse was a good person, let alone a good match, it’s easy to end up in litigation.

But is that really your best option?

Sometimes, litigation is the only solution. If your spouse is being unreasonable, demanding and abusive, you may have no choice but to go through with a contested divorce. Putting everything in a judge’s hands may be the key to retaining your sanity.

An uncontested divorce, however, does have a lot of benefits. Here’s why it’s often better to work things out with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse privately, before you land in court for a number of reasons. For example:

  1. It’s usually a lot quicker. When you have a contested divorce, you’re at the mercy of the court’s schedule. If you’re ready to move on — maybe even remarry — you don’t want to wait around for hearings and judgments.
  2. It’s less expensive. A contested divorce takes time, and time is money when you’re dealing with court, filing and attorney fees. The faster you can settle your divorce, the more assets you and your spouse will have left over to split. A hard-fought divorce can drain even the fullest bank accounts.
  3. It retains your privacy. When you litigate, whatever goes on ends up as part of the public record — including things that could damage your personal or professional reputation. There may also be things (like your income and investments) that you don’t necessarily want to become common knowledge.

Don’t assume that litigation is your only option, even if you’re currently at an impasse with your spouse on certain issues. Talk to an attorney about ways to work past the issues and how to best protect your interests.

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