You may have seen the breakdown of your marriage coming long before it finally happened, or you may be one of many spouses in Texas who ended up filing for divorce when a cataclysmic event occurred that caused irreparable damage to your relationship. Either way, you will need to make a number of decisions before you can walk away with a divorce decree in your hand. In fact, the very process by which you choose to seek a settlement may be the first choice you make.
It's no secret that many divorces take place in court and involve aggressive litigation with highly charged emotions on both sides. This is often the case when spouses disagree about important issues and are unable to resolve their differences on their own. Perhaps you and your spouse are still on good speaking terms and are usually able to engage in amicable discussions when it comes to family matters, especially where your children are concerned. If so, then negotiation outside the courtroom may be a plausible goal in your case.
Reasons to avoid litigation
Although knockdown, drag out courtroom battles make for great movie scenes, in real life, such situations are extremely stressful and often negatively affect children and parents as they strive to adapt to new lifestyles. The following list includes several reasons why many Texas spouses try to avoid litigation at all costs:
- Money matters: If obtaining a settlement in the most economically feasible fashion is of paramount importance to you then you'll definitely want to avoid litigation if it's possible because it's generally the most expensive type of conflict resolution available.
- Time matters: You may also be concerned with achieving a swift settlement; after all, there's no need to dwell on the past and it's easier to move toward the future if you can gain closure and satisfactory agreements for property division, parenting plans, etc. As such, mediation is typically less time consuming than litigation.
- Privacy matters: If you litigate your divorce, it is a public matter. Anything discussed during the proceedings is considered information available to the public as well. Arbitration, on the other hand, is similar to litigation except that it happens privately; therefore, if you have business or financial information you wish to keep private, arbitration may be the best choice for you.
Anything you and your spouse can work out on your own may save you time and money in divorce. This is not to say it is not beneficial to act alongside an experienced advisor as, in most situations, it surely is.
Most Texas family law attorneys are also highly skilled negotiators, so if you make it known that you'd like avoid litigation if at all possible, your attorney can proceed accordingly.