When you are in the middle of a divorce more than likely emotions will be running high. Try your best to separate the emotion of what you are currently going though from the reality of your situation. You might be hurt and angry but not settling your case and having a desire to fight is not practical. Resentment will not conclude your matter and will only make it worse as it could cloud your judgement. If you and your spouse enter into your own Stipulation of Settlement then you are in control of some of the terms, if not all of them. If you are set to drag your spouse to court and litigate your action, then you are leaving your fate to the Court.
In a custody battle an attorney for the child (AFC) is appointed to represent the best interests of the children. An AFC is appointed because Courts are hesitant to decide the fate of children without knowing their desires, as without an attorney the Court can only surmise what their wishes are. An attorney for the child will also add additional attorney fees to your case as you will be responsible to pay for your children’s attorney.
When it comes to distributing property, the Courts will decide what is “equitable” which may not necessarily equate to 50/50. When you leave it to the Court to distribute assets remember that there is no requirement that the distribution of each item of marital property be on a 50/50 basis. A trial court has substantial discretion to fashion awards based on the circumstances of each case and the Court’s determination will not be disturbed absent an abuse of discretion or failure to consider the requisite statutory factors.
Finally, a Court will consider the parties’ financial circumstances, their respective ages, the length of their marriage, any loss of income, and the ability to increase earning potential considering age and prolonged absence from the work force when determining maintenance. In other words, maintenance also will be left up to the Court.
As you can see, if you and your spouse cannot come to a settlement, the Court will decide your future, which will come at a substantial financial and emotional price. Once the Court decides, if the decision is supported by the evidence presented at trial and well-reasoned, it is unlikely that the awards will be disturbed if you disagree.
Try to settle your own case as not only will it save you money, but it could also prevent yourself from the emotional strain of litigation. While you may be distraught or vengeful now, try to put those feelings aside and allow common sense to dictate and settle your case if possible