As important as it is to know when to settle, it is important to know when not to settle. Some family law attorneys are so motivated to settle that they may push for a settlement when going to court would actually be the right thing to do. A client should discuss the worst case scenarios with his/her attorney and get a sense for what the court is likely to decide on an given issue before deciding to settle.

Another important point to remember is that a person can settle on some issues and let the court decide other issues. It does not have to be an all or nothing proposition. If parties agree on child support (which is generally easy to determine with the Minnesota child support calculator), then they do not have to spend time and money litigating that issue.

For example, if parties cannot agree on how to divide marital property, they can use a mediator to divide property rather than spend time and money litigating the issue. Parties can use mediation to help them settle any issue. Sometimes mediation is not the right course of action though and parties should not feel that mediation is the end. Mediation is the beginning and can help parties decide whether an issue is worth fighting over.

The emotional costs can never be underestimated, but sometimes one side will wear the other side down to the point that side no longer wants to fight and gives in. there are things worth fighting for and things worth settling one. Having a list of priorities and knowing what is worth fighting for and what is not is important before starting the process so parties can make decisions based on their feelings before they became embroiled in the process. It is extremely easy for parties to start taking stands simply because they don’t want to lose a battle. They can lose sight of what is important because they don’t want their spouse to “win”.

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