Only on rare occasions does anyone besides attorneys win when going to court. Do not get me wrong, there are family law cases out there that really do not have a choice but to go to court (the most common is because one party is being so unreasonable that the other party should not settle).
Why You Should Consider A Settlement Agreement
I always encourage my client to consider a settlement agreement as soon as possible and in advance of any court hearing (even if it is just a Scheduling Conference – which is generally the first time you will be in court for your case, where only services of the court are being ordered and court deadlines are being provided). In some cases, total settlement at the initial conference may seem a bit aggressive, but for divorcing couples, being able to resolve everything in writing in one day can be a huge relief. Having a proposal in hand can help you negotiate and settle in one day to get the matter over and done.
Parents battling over custody issues is never in the best interests of their children. Even if the regular custody schedule has to be negotiated, having a fully written stipulation can make the process of settlement that much easier and cost-effective. It can also make the conference or mediation a lot shorter and clarify issues needing the court’s assistance. Sometimes, when walking into these conferences, everything seems like an issue. Approaching the other party with a written proposal for resolving potential problems facilitates negotiation instead of arguments.
Fitting in this level of preparation ahead of time is not always easy for some family law attorneys, but it is well worth the effort. Being prepared will help to conserve your fees at the actual hearing; or, better yet, if you can send the stipulation to the other side ahead of time, you may be able to settle the custody matter without having to enter the courthouse door.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to divorce, this post is simply to educate you on your options if you are considering divorce.