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Divorce Settlements vs. Trials: Comparing the Two Potential Paths


Any case relating to the breakdown of a marriage is uncertain. You do not know how much maintenance you will receive, your parenting time, property division, or what will come of any other issues at hand in your case.

After speaking with a Naperville family law attorney, you’ll quickly realize that litigating each issue (i.e. going to Court to reach a resolution), is quite costly. Moreover, if you still can’t resolve issues, a trial can increase your attorney’s fees tens of thousands of dollars depending on the level of preparation and the time in Court required.

This leaves you with a decision to make: Will you settle your case or go to trial?

There are Risks and Benefits With Both Options…

Like most decisions you must make regarding your separation and in other areas of your life, there are several risks and benefits you must consider as part of your case and how you want to proceed.

Here are the basic risks of both options:

  • Settlement – Settling a case isn’t inherently risky, but can be if you rely on negotiating with your spouse and he or she is unwilling to cooperate.
  • Trial – If your case goes to trial, the judge will make all decisions on how issues are decided. This removes the power from you and your spouse and you may receive a judgment that isn’t in your favor or is difficult to live with.

Likewise, there are benefits of both options:

  • Settlement – By negotiating a settlement through your attorneys, you retain power as to how issues are decided. This removes the uncertainty of a trial and saves a significant amount of time and money a case would take should it go to trial.
  • Trial – If you cannot resolve issues with your spouse, a trial is the only way to reach a judgment regarding your case. Although the outcome is uncertain, if the facts are in your favor you will likely be pleased with the result of the case.

Settling a Case is Simpler Through Mediation

In many cases, it’s incredibly difficult to negotiate a settlement. Both spouses have issues they aren’t willing to compromise on and as such, attorneys are often left going back and forth in negotiations for months, if not years. Luckily, mediation is an alternative.

Mediation works for many couples because it involves a neutral third party that can help spouses find common ground, even when they don’t believe any exists. Mediators are also skilled at talking through each issue to arrive at a resolution that pleases both sides and eliminates the need for a trial.

Of course, mediation isn’t always successful. However, if a spouse is concerned regarding the potential outcome of a trial or feels uneasy about putting their life in the judge’s hands, compromise is more common.

Find a Mediator or Dedicated Divorce Attorney at Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd.!

For over 35 years, Larry has worked with thousands of couples and other attorneys to negotiate settlements or serve as a mediator to avoid the need for a trial. With many cases that have also gone to trial, Larry vehemently advocates on his client’s behalf, ensuring your satisfaction with the outcome of your case.

To learn more about your options and how Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd. can help, contact us at 630-470-9990 or request a free 30-minute consultation on our online form. We look forward to speaking with you and educating you on your options as part of your case.

Concentrated on Family Law

Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd. is a law firm concentrating solely on family law and has served clients in DuPage, Will, Kane, and Kendall counties for over 35 years.

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About Attorney Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd.

Lawrence R. Surinak Ltd. is a law firm concentrating solely on family law and has served clients in DuPage, Will, Kane, and Kendall counties for over 35 years.

We continue to work with clients in Naperville, Wheaton, Lisle, Oswego, Downers Grove, and the surrounding areas to provide one-on-one support and attention that will help you through this difficult time.

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us at any time. We look forward to offering our expertise and support to you throughout your case and after.