Divorce negotiations often become contentious in states with strict community property laws like Texas, and it is not uncommon for spouses to find themselves in court after attempts to resolve matters amicably at the negotiating table have ended in failure. Leaving these decisions up to a family law judge will provide closure, but there is no guarantee that either party will be happy with the outcome. Litigating divorces in a civil court is also a lengthy and expensive process, but there are situations where it becomes the only realistic option.
Talks drag on or a legal question holds them up
Divorcing couples often give up on an amicable approach because their negotiations are at loggerheads and they feel that any further discussions would be futile. When litigation is inevitable, taking action sooner rather than later could actually save time and money. Appearing before a judge could also be necessary during negotiations if a thorny legal question, such as the validity of a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, is preventing talks from progressing.
Negotiations are not being conducted in good faith
Spouses are expected to negotiate matters like alimony and property division in good faith. When one of the parties involved is concealing assets or providing misleading or false financial records, taking the issues before a judge may be the best course of action. However, the emotional and financial costs of protracted litigation should be considered before this path is taken.
Alternative ways to resolve a dispute
Experienced family law attorneys could advise divorcing couples to consider alternatives to court when their attempts to reach an amicable settlement are unproductive. Approaches like collaborative divorce and mediation search for common ground, and this less adversarial environment has been known to produce results even when a drawn out court battle seemed inevitable.