Why should I try to avoid trial in a Massachusetts divorce?

Celebrity divorces make it seem like battling it out in court is the norm, that it is the most effective way to get what you want. As with any other aspect of celebrity life, we have to remember that they aren’t always like us — despite what PEOPLE Magazine says.

Did you know that approximately 90 percent of divorce cases reach settlement before ever going to trial? It is a statistic reported by Forbes based on expert estimates. The truth is that there are very real benefits to avoiding court by settling, either through mediation, negotiation or collaborative divorce. One of the largest benefits? The amount of control that each spouse has over the outcome of the divorce.

Judges in Massachusetts make decisions about property division, spousal support and child custody based on specific state law. Although there are definite laws, it doesn’t mean that these are always clear. A judge has a lot of discretion in making decision, and there is no way to guarantee that the judge will make them in your favor.

When you and your spouse agree to a settlement out of court, you make the decisions. Yes, you are probably going to have to make some concessions, but you have a lot of control over which ones you are willing to make. You can spend time focusing on creating an agreement that is truly tailored to you and your family.

In addition, the cost of cooperation is more often than not much lower than litigation. The details of the settlement can be kept confidential. A final bonus? It can help you address the emotional aspects of divorce that often motivate decisions or requests. It can be cathartic or just less stressful.

Source: Forbes, “When Divorcing, Why Is War Often The Preferred Option?” Russ Alan Prince, Oct. 22, 2014

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