Divorce: the goal is to successfully settle

On behalf of Stange Law Firm, PC posted in divorce on Friday, October 9, 2015.

Most divorce agreements in Missouri are negotiated settlements between the two parties. Divorces are typically settled because going through with a courtroom trial can be very time consuming and expensive. Since the economic consequence of a divorce can be sufficiently problematic, there are few instances where a trial would be seen as cost effective.

In some divorce cases, involving the very wealthy, issues may proceed to trial, with the judge making the ultimate decision. But even in these circumstances, this can be risky, as you never know how a judge will rule on an issue. However, there are other reasons high-asset couples may wish to avoid a trial, even if they can afford the costs.

One is privacy. Trials in Missouri are public record. When you submit documents and exhibits, such as your financial statements, they become part of the public record of that trial.

In addition to the risk of disclosure of your personal financial information, you also risk having to provide other embarrassing testimony via depositions or in the courtroom. If there are issues as to your fitness as a parent, questions could be raised on your alcohol or drug use, sexual practices, dating habits or affairs and other intimate details of your life.

If you own or operate a successful business in a town like Columbia, where you maintain ongoing business relationships with numerous individuals, this may be information that you would prefer to keep private. This is why the optimal results for many divorces are best obtained by settlement.

While you may not obtain as complete a victory as you would prefer, you obtain a settlement that avoids many of the unpleasant costs that a public trial may produce.

Source: chicagotribune.com, “Griffin divorce negotiations no surprise to experts,” Becky Yerak and Kim Janssen, October 5, 2015

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