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Should you settle your divorce outside of court?

Divorce is not only the end of a relationship, but also the division of a legal and financial partnership. As such, it is imperative to protect your short- and long-term interests by obtaining a fair and appropriate division of marital property. This is easier for some couples than for others. Depending on the amount and complexity of assets a couple has acquired, the best process for property division may vary.

For example, a couple that has only been married for a couple of years and rents an apartment together may be able to negotiate the terms of their divorce pretty quickly. A couple that is in their 40s and has retirement accounts, a house, savings accounts and perhaps business interests may be bound to have some disputes. So, how can you determine what is the best divorce strategy for you? Should you handle your divorce outside of court or not?

Every divorce is different, and couples are wise to talk to their family law attorneys about their options. In many cases, it is possible to try to come to a settlement agreement via negotiation, with the assistance of attorneys. In some cases, this is done through mediation. Negotiation and mediation are generally good options because they allow couples to make their own decisions instead of leaving fate up to a judge. In fact, as many as 95 percent of divorce cases are settled outside of court, according to a recent estimate. However, sometimes it is not possible to come to agreements through these processes. In such cases, it may become necessary to go before a judge.

When a judge decides a property division dispute in Georgia, his or her goal is to provide each party with an equitable share. This does not mean equal shares, but rather fair shares--which can be more subjective.

Whatever situation you find yourself in, you can help protect your interests by obtaining skilled legal guidance.

 

Source: Forbes, "Divorcing Women: Is It Best To Litigate Or Settle?" Jeff Landers, May 22, 2014

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