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What to consider before going to court

When New Jersey couples decide to end their marriage and seek a divorce, there are different paths they might take. While each divorce case is unique, in the end, couples will either reach a settlement during the process or end up going to trial.

Deciding to go to trial to finalize a divorce involves several factors that must be considered. First, there is the consideration of time since a process involving a trial can last months longer than a divorce that ends with a settlement reached by both parties. Money is another concern as going to court involves additional fees for court appearances, filing costs and lawyer costs. Each court appearance, for example, will mean spending additional time with lawyers, and this time will incur a cost. Settling a divorce in court can also have a psychological cost because it can create added stress during an already tense period. Going to court often means having to meet with the lawyers at a moment's notice when preparing for appearances, taking time off work to attend those appearances and leaving the results up to the court, therefore losing even more control over the outcome.

However, in some cases, going to court might be the better or only option. For ex-spouses who cannot come to an agreement in many of the important aspects, which can include separation of property or the custody and raising of the children, going to court might be the best way to go forward since this could avoid delays in ending the marriage. It might also be the path to consider when one of the spouses refuses to negotiate at all.

Whether the divorce will be settled via negotiations or by a court, residents who are considering this path might consider speaking with a lawyer with family law experience. A lawyer may provide information about the process and about dealing with state legislation.

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