The High Cost of Divorce Litigation

Divorce litigation is expensive, both financially and emotionally. It is important that you understand this; your attorney should discuss the high cost of litigation at your initial meeting.
You should have a discussion with your lawyer about the specific costs of trial even before settlement negotiations begin. After the initial discovery phase is completed, your attorney should have an idea of what the issues and the facts are, and be able to estimate the amount of time and expense a trial will involve.

The discussion after discovery should have very little financial surprise about estimates of cost for trial. However, at this time you should be discussing what you hope to achieve by continuing to trial. You need to discuss what can realistically be achieved in trial that can’t be achieved by settlement.

The final decision to take the case to trial should be based on objective reasoning; analysis of cost and benefits should be a significant factor in determine to proceed to trial. You should focus on the economics and not the emotional aspects of taking a case to trial. Your divorce attorney should not encourage you to go to trial based on emotional reasons, such as desiring to punish your spouse, prove a point, or as a scorched earth policy. Going to trial for any emotional reason is often harmful to both parties, as well as children, and can impact your post divorce life. Judges can almost always tell if a case was brought for an improper reason, and those litigants often don’t fare well as a result.