People in Tennessee who are going through a divorce might prefer to try to resolve issues around child custody and property division through negotiation instead of going to court. However, one person may refuse to sit down at the negotiating table, or the former couple may disagree strongly on how to split assets or custody plans. When this happens, a person might wonder whether turning to a judge might be the best option.

There are a few factors that should be taken into account when deciding whether to take a less-than-satisfactory settlement or continue to litigation. One is how much time litigation might take. There could be months of preparation, and the court date could be set months ahead as well. Usually, negotiation leads to a faster resolution, but this is not always the case. There may be situations in which individuals already know the negotiations are simply not going to be successful, and in these situations, it is probably best not to waste even more time trying to engage in them.

People should also take the costs of going to court into account. It is nearly always more expensive than negotiating and more stressful as well. On the other hand, going to trial might be the way to get the outcome a person desires from an uncooperative spouse although it can be risky.

An advantage of negotiation is that spouses can sometimes reach a flexible solution that suits them and their situation. Going to court means a judge attempts to make sure that property is divided equitably and that the child custody arrangements are in the best interests of the child. Litigation may be necessary if a person believes that the other spouse is hiding assets or that the child is unsafe with the other parent.