My wife and I have decided to divorce. We have two children, own properties, retirement accounts and other assets. I do not want a “messy divorce”. What are our options?
Some couples choose to cooperate rather than litigate their case. Cooperation works when the parties are honest and fully disclose all information – particularly information about assets, income and liabilities. Without trust and candor litigation may become necessary but you can avoid a trial if you resolve your case by reaching an agreement.
If you set about settling early, your only visit to the courthouse may be for the final hearing. Most cases settle but many cases are litigated for a while before being settled at mediation. Sometimes spouses refuse to cooperate or the history between them makes it difficult to settle. Litigation is often unavoidable if a party conceals income, misstates the value of assets or contests parenting and timesharing issues litigation unavoidable. I have heard more than one person claim to prefer payments to their attorney over payments to their spouse.
I encourage my clients to settle their cases but litigation is sometimes unavoidable or necessary. Settlement can occur early in a case when both parties are open to it. Many factors determine whether and when a particular case can be settled and I can help to guide you through the process and protect your interests.