Many times litigants are faced with two options: take their case to trial or settle. Often, it is an extremely difficult decision to make. One must evaluate the pros and cons of settlement versus the risk of having their case proceed to trial. In the event your case proceeds to trial, it will be left in the hands of a neutral judge who could, or could not, rule in your favor. But then again, seldom is there a true “winner” in a settlement.
Here are a couple of helpful tips to help you decide whether settlement is right for you.
First, make a list of all of the issues in your case. For instance, real property, personal property, custody, child support, debts and alimony are often debated issues in divorce cases.
Second, write how you would like to resolve the issue. Here is an example of a list:
1. House. I want to sell it and divide any proceeds equally.
2. Custody. I want to have liberal time with the children. I want three weeks of summer vacation. I will agree to alternate holidays.
3. Personal property. I want the dining room furniture, living room furniture and the things in the garage. My spouse can have the rest.
4. Child Support. I will agree to use the NJ child support guidelines.
5. Debts. I will pay my credit cards. My spouse to pay student loans.
6. Alimony. I want permanent alimony. I need $2,500 per month.
7. Business. I want 40% of my spouses’ business.
8. Other. Our retirement assets should be divided equally.
Third, ask for your spouses’ position on the same issues. Review each item to determine if you can agree on certain issues. This will help highlight the items which remain in dispute, if any.

Finally, evaluate whether a settlement is possible. If so, settlement may be more cost effective and will save you a lot of time. However, if your spouse will not negotiate issues that are important to you or you feel as if your goals under step two will have to be compromised beyond what you find is reasonable, then, perhaps, having a judge decide your matter at trial may be the best scenario.
Contact an attorney at Iandoli & Edens, LLC to learn more. Call us today at 908.879.9499 or visit us on the web at http://www.iandoliedens.com.

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