In this article, you will learn about:
- How to resolve a contested divorce quickly and effectively.
- What courts do to encourage settlements in litigation.
- How to prepare your case for trial while keeping settlement negotiations open.
Is It Possible To Settle A Contested Divorce Without Having To Go To Trial?
Every contested divorce has the opportunity to end in settlement. Whether at the beginning of the case, or in the middle of litigation, 95% to 98% of divorce proceedings settle at some point.
It’s not at all uncommon that a Judge will conduct a settlement conference on the first day of trial – and may even call to break early in the first day of testimony. During this time, you will have the opportunity to discuss settlement options with a Referee or court attorney.
This is because the courts always encourage settlement – even in the middle of trial.
Do You Prepare Each Contested Divorce Case As Though It Will Go To Trial? How Does That Help?
Not every contested divorce case will need specific preparation to go to trial. Instead, most cases will follow a simultaneous dual-track – settlement and litigation.
It is always prudent to conduct settlement negotiations while on the road to trial. In other words, a good attorney is always looking for a settlement opportunity at each stage of the litigation process. If a settlement is reached in the steps to comply with preliminary conference orders, you won’t have to continue on the litigation track.
In this way, if you cannot settle a case, you have already complied with the steps you will need for judicial intervention. Consequently, your case will be trial-ready without any significant delays.
With that said, not every case warrants following such a strict schedule. When deadlines are being set in a preliminary conference, a skilled divorce lawyer should be able to anticipate the likelihood of a settlement. Your attorney would then ask for any deadlines to be pushed out as far as possible. This will allow for the case to stay on track while providing the greatest opportunity for that settlement to come about.
In the meantime, your lawyer will work to negotiate a settlement while keeping an eye on the overall case progress. This can be done by scheduling a four-way settlement conference. By working toward earnest case resolution, you can avoid wasting precious time and money.
Additionally, the court may present settlement suggestions as roadblocks arise. This “advisory opinion” is a non-binding picture of how a Judge may rule if the case were to go to trial.
Based on this preliminary opinion, sticking points can be thought of in a new light. Rather than arguing for both sides’ best-case scenario, the parties can have a realistic picture of a trial outcome. While this may not allow every case to reach a settlement, it is usually invaluable to have this opinion.
For more information on Settling A Contested Divorce In New York, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (347) 797-1188 | (914) 362-3080 today.