How to Avoid Going to Court During a Divorce

September 12th, 2022
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Not every couple winds up going to court during a divorce, so don’t assume that’s necessarily where you’ll end up if you and your ex are just beginning the process. Many couples are able to work through their differences and come to agreements that allow them to settle outside of court. Many also opt to go through mediation instead of a full trial. If you do wind up in a divorce trial, it can be lengthy, stressful, and expensive. The best way to avoid court altogether is to find ways to compromise with your ex when it comes to things like child custody and splitting up your assets. Hopefully, you will be able to come to agreements on everything and avoid the stress and financial hassle of going through a trial.

Divorce Agreement

It’s possible to avoid going to court or mediation if you and your ex are able to come up with a full and complete divorce agreement on your own that you both sign. This should include things like splitting up your assets, spousal support, child support, and custody. If you and your ex can come to an agreement on all of these things, then you might be able to sign your divorce agreement and have a judge grant you the divorce.


If you and your ex have some disagreements that don’t feel totally insurmountable, then mediation might be the next best step to avoid going to court. During mediation, a third party called a mediator, will help you negotiate and come to agreements. They will typically encourage you to compromise and meet in the middle on things. For example, with parenting plans and property division.

Negatives of Going to Trial

If you and your ex are unable to come to terms about your divorce agreement, then you’re likely going to trial. The downsides of going to a full trial are mostly time and money. You’ll each need an attorney, and you’ll likely need to take some time off work. In addition, if you have children, court can be more stressful for them.

How to Avoid Court

The best way to avoid going to court is to simply try your best to compromise. Even if you and your spouse cannot get along at all, you can still have a friendly divorce. Try to put aside petty squabbles and focus on the bigger picture. If you’re too busy fighting about irrelevant assets you might wind up spending more than they’re worth in legal fees. If you have children, try to focus on their wellbeing and establishing a healthy co-parenting relationship. Going to court is not a way to “win” the divorce, or take out aggression. It’s painful and costly for everyone.

If you and your ex are able to come to agreements on all aspects of your divorce settlement, then you should be able to avoid going to court. You’ll need to agree on things like splitting up your property and assets, child and spousal support, and a custody agreement. You’ll also need to come up with a parenting plan if you plan to share custody. If you and your ex are unable to compromise on a few items, it might be worth it to try mediation before going to court. However, if your differences are insurmountable, you’ll wind up going to trial. This will likely be costly and stressful for everybody. The best way to avoid a trial is to try to focus on the future rather than the past. Let go of old arguments, don’t try to win, and just focus on the things that are the most important to you. Hopefully, you and your ex will be able to come to terms and avoid going to court over your divorce.