Unfortunately, litigation is still the most common divorce option. While most divorcing couples who choose the litigation route reach an out-of-court settlement, many couples end up in long, adversarial, highly emotional, expensive, court directed divorces. Both parties have their own attorney whose job is to get the best possible outcome for their client. Communication between the spouses is generally through their respective attorneys and not in a collaborative manner. If your case ends up going to court, it’s the judge — who knows very little about you and your family — who will make the final decisions regarding your finances, children’s custody terms, and your new life. Litigation is generally the most expensive and emotionally taxing divorce option.
A good candidate for litigation/court-based divorce would be a couple who determines early on that they will not be able to work together to come to a mutual divorce agreement. In addition, the litigation option should be considered if one spouse suspects the other may be hiding assets or if there is a history of domestic violence or drug/alcohol addiction.