Getting to Yes: Why Settlement is Often Better Than Trial

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Getting to Yes: Why Settlement is Often Better Than Trial
Written By: Josh Lowell ~ 5/6/2024


Divorce can be a challenging and emotionally charged process for all parties involved. In Washington state, your divorce proceedings may start amicably or be fought tooth and nail. However, in most cases, parties will be required to seek settlement or attempt dispute resolution (such as mediation) before the case goes to trial. The decision about whether or not your case should go to trial should be discussed at length with your attorney. Most cases will eventually settle, however, because often the risks of trial are outweighed by the benefits of settlement.

So, why might you want to settle your case before reaching the trial stage?

  1. Control and Flexibility: One of the primary advantages of reaching a settlement is that it allows the parties to retain control over the outcome of their divorce. Instead of leaving critical decisions in the hands of a judge, spouses can work together to craft agreements that meet their individual needs and circumstances. Settlements also offer greater flexibility, allowing couples to tailor arrangements regarding child custody, visitation schedules, and financial matters to suit their family dynamics.

  2. Privacy and Confidentiality: Unlike trials, which are matters of public record, settlements afford couples a greater degree of privacy and confidentiality. By resolving their divorce issues outside of the courtroom, spouses can avoid the scrutiny of the public eye and maintain confidentiality regarding sensitive matters such as financial disclosures and personal details.

  3. Cost-Effectiveness: Divorce trials can be costly endeavors, involving attorney fees, court costs, and potentially lengthy proceedings. In contrast, reaching a settlement typically involves fewer expenses, as it eliminates the need for extensive litigation and court appearances. By avoiding the time and expense associated with trial preparation and proceedings, couples can preserve their financial resources for the post-divorce transition.

  4. Emotional Well-being: Divorce trials can exacerbate emotional tensions and prolong the healing process for both spouses and their children. In contrast, settling divorce matters amicably can help reduce stress and anxiety, allowing families to focus on moving forward with their lives. By prioritizing open communication, compromise, and cooperation, couples can minimize conflict and lay the groundwork for healthier co-parenting relationships.

While divorce trials may be necessary in certain circumstances, such as when disputes cannot be resolved through negotiation or mediation, settlement offers numerous benefits that can make the process smoother and more manageable for all involved. By choosing to work together towards a mutually agreeable resolution, couples can achieve closure more efficiently and transition into the next chapter of their lives with greater peace of mind. At the law offices of Magnuson Lowell PS, we understand the complexities of divorce proceedings in Washington state and are committed to helping our clients explore all available options for resolution. If you're considering divorce or facing divorce-related issues, call today for a free telephone case evaluation 425-800-0576

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