How to determine when an amicable divorce is not possible

Making the best of a bad situation is a saying that we have all heard in our lives hundreds of times. It is a nice thought- when you’re facing something undesirable why not take any steps you can to avoid having it be as bad as you may anticipate. It’s a lesson that we impart to our children and is one that as adult we can be served well by also.

Applying this credo to a divorce is a possibility as well. If you’re regular reader of this blog then you know that I and any other attorney with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan that writes in this space will tell you that it is not only possible to avoid having your divorce be a knock down, drag out fight but it is likely that you will experience at least a somewhat amicable divorce. Even the most stubborn people in the world, I will counsel clients, grow tired of fighting. It is amazing what can happen when two tired, decent people can agree to in a mediation setting in order to avoid prolonged bickering and legal fees.

However, this is not the reality for every divorce case. If you decide to ultimately file for divorce from your spouse you may find yourself in a situation where you and your spouse are not able to settle your case in mediation or in informal settlement negotiations. This blog post will detail the situations where I have seen cases become contested divorces that wind up in front of a judge.

Look at the sort of arguments being had to determine if a trial is likely

Divorces are all about arguments. Even small, simple arguments need to be settled and can take time to do so. When you and your spouse are arguing over the amount of child support, or the degree to which he or she will be able to see your children during the week then there is a good chance that your case can settle outside of court.

The reason I have this belief is that both of you have agreed on the issues that are in play for your negotiation sessions. Reasonable people can different on specifics like the amount of support or the days of the week that are better suited for your child to go see their other parent when school is in session. Your positions are not polar opposites- they’re just different. It does not take that much movement in negotiations to get you both to agree to settle an issue. It just takes time and willingness to do so.

The sort of arguments that I find most often lead to a trip downtown to see the judge are disagreements involving whether or not something is even a negotiable issue. For example, if you believe that after twenty years of marriage that you need to ask for spousal support for one year after the divorce, and your spouse finds this to be preposterous and will not even consider negotiating on the subject then it will take quite a bit of movement- by one of you or both of you- to allow a settlement to occur. It’s one thing to disagree on what flavor ice cream you want for dessert. It’s another thing altogether for one of you to not want to eat dessert at all.

If there is an issue that you and your spouse cannot even agree should be discussed as a relevant point in your negotiations then it is possible, even likely, that a judge will need to intervene. It’s one thing to disagree on specifics. It’s another to disagree on what you all even need to discuss as a relevant issue.

Motivation is critically important when determining whether a trial is in your future

When you are engaged in settlement negotiations with your spouse during your divorce it is important to read between the lines and try to make an educated guess as to why your spouse is arguing the position that he or she is. If you believe that your spouse and yourself are in disagreement on an issue because of a reasonable difference of opinion then there is always a chance to settle your case. Objective analysis and steady counsel can sway reasonable people.

If something seems reasonable to your attorney it is likely that your opposing counsel has the same opinion. A settlement may not occur as quickly as you’d like but if you continue to present logical and fact based arguments to your spouse it is entirely possible that your mediator will be pushed into your corner and can help assist in moving your spouse toward your position.

On the other end of the spectrum are situations where we let emotion enter into the fray and dominate our decision making. Some people have an innate desire for “justice” or “fairness”- whatever their individual definitions of those words are and however he or she applies those definitions to whatever circumstances he or she is facing. I call these folks, “truth, justice and the American way people”.

There is nothing wrong with having a strong moral compass and I would agree that in many areas of life there are black and white situations where what is wrong and what is right can be obvious.

However, divorce cases are not situations that lend themselves to easy determinations of what is right and wrong. If you and your attorney get the impression that your spouse is fighting based on principle rather than facts then you may be headed towards a trial.

The reason being is that it is somewhat easy to challenge the opinions of a person when he or she is willing to consider an alternative viewpoint. When your spouse is so tuned in to their own sense or right and wrong it will be a long road for you to hoe.

Those folks would rather see their case go down in flames in front of a judge rather than settle an issue he or she feels is unnegotiable. Even people who do not identify as Christians can take heed of the Bible verse: Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.

Questions about your divorce case? Contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan today

If you are concerned about how your divorce case will go once it is filed please do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Bryan Fagan. The path your divorce takes depends a great deal on the attorney you have representing you. Our licensed family lawattorneys represent clients across southeast Texas and would be honored to speak to you about the services our office can provide you with. A consultation is free of charge and is just a phone call away.

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Law Office of Bryan Fagan | Spring Divorce Lawyer

The Law Office of Bryan Fagan routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding divorce, it's important to speak with ar Spring, TX Divorce Lawyer right away to protect your rights.

A divorce lawyer in Spring TX is skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan handles Divorce cases in Spring, Texas, Cypress, Spring, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, Houston, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County and Waller County.

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