In many cases, people who decide to get divorced don’t have to go to court. In fact, if you and your spouse can work out a settlement agreement, you may be able to avoid going to court other than to get that agreement approved.
In most divorces, the reality is that people don’t end up at trial. Instead, they are able to work through their issues and come up with settlements that work for them. This might happen through collaborative law, alternative dispute resolution options or simple, informal negotiations between the spouses.
What happens if you come up with your own settlement outside court?
If you come up with a settlement outside court, then you should have your attorney review it. Once you and your spouse are satisfied, you can have the detailed settlement drawn up and submitted to the court for approval.
You will likely need to go to an informal hearing after that, just so that the judge can ask a few questions. If the judge is satisfied with your responses and thinks that the agreement seems fair, then they may sign it and approve it.
What happens if the court doesn’t think the settlement is fair?
If the judge doesn’t believe that the settlement is fair for whatever reason, they may reject the agreement and state that it needs changes. This usually only happens if the terms blatantly favor one person over the other. In that case, you may want to renegotiate the terms or work with your attorney to prepare for a full divorce trial.