The outcome of a divorce case is often uncertain. Moreover, it can be expensive to litigate all of the issues—property division, child custody, spousal support, etc. However, there may be opportunities to settle before the final trial. Prior to making a decision to settle or to take your case to trial, it is important to understand your options and the risks involved.
Understanding the Risks
If you decide to take a case to trial, even if it is a strong case, a judge may rule against you on several important issues. Additionally, the other side may have evidence against you—information that you had forgotten about or information that you never suspected would be discovered.
If you decide to settle, you will know the outcome but you may still be taking a risk. Therefore, it may be in your favor to go to trial. Ultimately, only you can make the decision regarding which process is best for your individual situation. However, a skilled divorce attorney can help.
The Role of Mediation
Divorce cases are notoriously difficult to settle. Both sides are often deeply emotionally invested in their positions. If children are involved, then both sides may feel they are fighting for the best interests of their children. Mediation, however, may be useful in helping the two sides come to an agreement.
Mediation is often successful because a mediator is neutral and does not have a stake in the case. Additionally, a skilled mediator can find common ground that the parties did not know existed. Mediators can also point out the weaknesses and strengths of each side’s case—a perspective that can motivate people to work out a deal.
Still, just because a mediator is involved, it does not mean the case has to settle. One spouse may feel that he or she is not likely to do well at trial and will try and get a settlement that is much more favorable than anything a judge would decide. It is always your decision as to when it is time to settle and when it is time to push ahead to trial.
If you are going through an Illinois divorce, you should never try to negotiate a divorce settlement without first consulting with an experienced Naperville divorce lawyer. Call Sullivan Taylor, Gumina & Palmer, P.C. today at 630-665-7676 to schedule a consultation today.