Reaching a Settlement before Going to Trial in a Divorce Case

Image of Settlement DocumentIt is usually best for all sides if spouses can resolve their divorce amicably without going to trial. Court dockets are only getting busier and busier, so judges prefer not to use resources and time if something can be resolved without a trial. If spouses can reach an agreement, they can arrive at a solution that they feel is best for their family without having a judge, who may not have spent much time getting to know their family and situation, decide what is best for the family. If you are interested in reaching a settlement with your spouse in a divorce without going to trial, a Houston divorce lawyer can provide the guidance you need to make the best decision for your family.

Settling a Divorce Case without Going to Trial

Reaching a settlement without going to trial is all about preparation and working closely with your attorney. Before beginning settlement negotiations, you should have all of the facts, including information on both of your assets, liabilities, when a party obtained property, or incurred a debt. Information on when something occurred is particularly important in Texas for determining whether property is community or separate.

For each of the areas involved in your divorce, you should have clear details and reasons outlined. The following are recommendations to help you reach a settlement instead of going to trial:

  • Outline in detail your plans for child custody and visitation. This should include days, times, holidays, and weekends that will be spent with one spouse and what time will be spent with the other. There should be contingencies in place in the event that things do not go as unplanned.
  • Also, outline in detail your plans for spousal and child support. You and your attorney should already know the extent of each party’s financial situation. Knowing this information is particularly important in special situations, like when a child is disabled or has special needs that require extra care and additional expenses. Your calculations should use specific numbers and provide reasons why those numbers are fair. How you decide to divide your property will largely be a function of your spouse and children’s needs.
  • It never hurts to have professional endorsements of your plans. For example, if you have a special needs child, a medical professional written opinion as to the child’s care requirements is helpful. If you own a business, you can have a financial professional provide a valuation of your business and what involvement your spouse had with the business’s growth.
  • Agree to re-visit the plans periodically. Circumstances change, and what you and your ex-spouse decided years ago may no longer be feasible or ideal.

Without a settlement in place, the divorce will proceed to trial where a judge will divide your property and make rulings regarding your family based on what the judge sees “just and right” or what the judge finds is in the “best interest” of your children. For more information about reaching a divorce settlement, contact a Houston property division attorney at John K. Grubb & Associates, PC.

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