Most divorcing couples do not want to end up in court. An actual trial before a judge is truly the last resort for couples who are so entrenched in their positions that compromise is impossible. There may also be a desire to prove that the other spouse is the "bad guy" in the drama.

In a trial each spouse's attorney argues their client's position on the disputed issues. Witnesses, including family members or friends, may be called and experts may be brought in by each side to give opinions on child custody arrangements or to value property.

Advantages of Litigation

Below are some advantages of litigation

  • It may be the only choice left after all else fails
  • Decisions can be appealed
  • Parties can get their day in court

Disadvantages of Litigation

Below are some disadvantages of litigation

  • Trials are open to the public, as are all pleadings and papers filed with the court.
  • Trials can take a lot of time. If the court has a busy docket, the case can be broken up and tried in bits and pieces on different days.
  • Parties tend to involve their children and try to get them to take sides.
  • It is very expensive, financially and emotionally.
  • Trials lock parties into their positions, believing they are the victim and the other spouse the villain. Often they call friends and family in to back up their side of the story.
  • Co-parenting successfully is difficult after a trial.
  • Parties never forget the bad things their spouse said about them at trial.