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When to choose litigation over negotiation

North Carolina couples who are in conflict over issues like child support and property division during a divorce may be considering taking the matter to court. However, this may not always be the right solution. Court can be expensive and emotionally draining and may not produce the resolution hoped for. Some individuals who look into litigation may find that they simply cannot afford it, but even for those who believe they can, it is important to take a look at what may be gained. It is possible that any financial victories in court will be wiped out by the expense. Furthermore, a trial can be both time-consuming and stressful.

Couples may want to consider whether they are really facing fundamental disagreements that need the assistance of a judge. Negotiation may produce better results than litigation if the conflict is over property division or which holidays children will spend with which parent. On the other hand, if one spouse feels the other is acting in bad faith by concealing assets or seeking sole custody, litigation may be the only solution.

Individuals should also keep in mind that they may not be happy with the judge's decision. A judge may bring personal biases into the courtroom. For example, this could mean less sympathy for stay-at-home parents if the judge has always combined working outside the home with parenting.

During a contentious divorce, an individual's best judgment may be clouded by emotion, and they might not make the best decision about how to proceed. An attorney may be helpful as an advocate who can assess the nature of the conflict and the best course of action based on the client's desired results.

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

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