Divorcing in Utah: Is It Best to Settle or Go to Trial?

You may be surprised to hear this, but an estimated more than 95% of all divorces in Utah and all across the U.S. are settled out of court. However, in the most complicated divorces involving uncooperative spouses, some divorces actually go to trial.

But what is the best way to finalize a divorce in Salt Lake City or elsewhere in Utah – through a settlement or verdict? This is the question we asked our Salt Lake City family law attorney from the Ault Firm.

Disadvantages of divorce trials

It is true that some divorces can take months or even years full of exhaustive hearings, recorded statements, negotiations, confusing legal terms, and other factors that not only cost you loads of money, but also cause an enormous amount of stress and put a strain on your overall health and the well-being of your family.

Due to the complexities of divorce trials, it is highly recommended to do whatever it takes to settle a divorce out of court. That does not mean, however, that you should agree to unfair terms and conditions in a settlement just so your divorce is settled out of court.

Settlement vs trial in divorce

The best way to get a divorce in Salt Lake City or elsewhere in Utah is to stand your ground and win a settlement that meets your expectations, needs, and requirements. If you are not legally represented by a Salt Lake City family law lawyer, achieving these things may be nearly impossible.

You see, any experienced divorce attorney in Utah never works on a divorce case alone. Your attorney will work with a team of highly specialized professionals and experts, including psychologists, forensic accountants, valuation experts, real estate appraisers, and many others. Typically, a regular person seeking divorce does not have access to so many competent and certified professionals that can back up his or her claims to file a compelling divorce petition and ultimately win your case.

How long does it take to get a divorce?

This depends on the circumstances of your case and several factors. Our best divorce attorneys at the Ault Firm outline a few factors that determine how long it will take to finalize a divorce in Salt Lake City or elsewhere in Utah:

  • Preparedness of both parties to settle out of court or, on the contrary, stubbornness and unwillingness to compromise, pushing the case to go to court;
  • The complexity of issues, including child support, child custody, alimony, vast assets, and others;
  • Reasonability of expectations and demands;
  • Amount of time required to provide the court with documents;
  • Changing divorce attorneys multiple times in a single divorce;
  • Psychological or emotional issues getting in the way;
  • Procrastination or lack of interest in the divorce;
  • Ability to clearly outline one’s demands or constantly changing one’s positions or demands through the divorce proceedings; and
  • Many others.

Generally, when it comes to deciding between a settlement and trial in a divorce, it depends on your spouse’s willingness to cooperate and compromise. You would not want to settle out of court if your spouse is offering unacceptable and unfair terms.

There are also quite a few things to consider when it comes to preparing for a divorce trial. Our Salt Lake City family law attorney from the Ault Firm notes that the stress of a trial may be too much to handle, especially if you have children. Also, it is not uncommon for judges to have a bias or prejudice, and you never know if that bias will be FOR you or AGAINST you. Judges are humans, too, so it is natural for them to make their decision based on emotional factors or past experiences (personal experiences from the past or similar divorce cases from his or her tenure as a judge).

The biggest advantages of settling a divorce out of court include:

  • you and your divorce attorney get to control the case (in a trial, it is the judge who takes a full control of your case);
  • certainty of terms;
  • lower attorney fees;
  • less stress;
  • earlier closure;
  • privacy;
  • prevention of an unexpected negative trial result;
  • and many other advantages.

So, should you settle your divorce out of court or go to trial and let the judge to have a final say? Let our best family law attorneys in Utah answer this question after reviewing the circumstances of your particular case. Get a free consultation by calling the Ault Firm at 801-539-9000 or complete this contact form.