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Will my divorce case go to trial?

On Behalf of | Feb 14, 2024 | Divorce

You want to file for divorce based on irretrievable differences, which is the no-fault grounds for divorce in New York. The problem is you and your spouse cannot stand each other, more so work together on the terms of your settlement agreement. Even though you want to finalize your divorce as quickly as possible, you cannot agree on certain arrangements or conditions, and it seems going to trial is inevitable.

A trial is a formal legal proceeding where a judge hears evidence and arguments from both parties regarding the issues in dispute. If you go to trial, a judge will make the final decisions on the unresolved issues in your divorce. While this takes the decision-making power out of your hands, it is sometimes necessary to finalize a contested divorce when you have exhausted all other options.

How to prepare for your divorce trial

Before you get ready for a trial, consider that most divorce cases settle out of court. Why? Because you and your spouse hold the power to negotiate terms that work for both of you. Through negotiation or mediation, you can reach agreements on various matters, including:

  • Child custody and visitation schedules
  • Child support and spousal maintenance
  • Division of property and debts

These negotiations can be tough and emotionally draining, but they offer a platform for you and your spouse to have direct control over the outcome. A settlement is more than just an agreement; it is a tailored solution that reflects your unique situation, needs and priorities. However, if trial is the only option, here are several steps you can take to prepare:

  • Gather all relevant financial documents.
  • Make a list of all assets and debts, including real estate, vehicles and other property.
  • Write down any specific issues or concerns you have about your divorce, including those matters mentioned above.
  • Understand the legal standards that a judge will use to make decisions.
  • Anticipate what your spouse may present in their case
  • Consider hiring a divorce attorney to represent you in court.

Despite the best efforts to settle, some cases do go to trial. Thorough preparation will be your best ally.

When trial is the only choice

A trial becomes the only viable option when negotiations have reached a standstill, and one or both parties refuse to cooperate. Your attorney will be instrumental in preparing for trial, from strategizing your case to representing you in the courtroom. While the thought of a divorce trial may be intimidating, it can present an opportunity to assert your needs and pursue a favorable outcome.

It is a chance to stand before a judge and advocate for the terms that you believe are just and equitable in your divorce. With skilled legal representation, a trial can be a powerful avenue to achieving the arrangements that align with your interests and goals.