Once the litigation has begun, most spouses begin to figure out that if they could reach agreement, they would save themselves a great deal of money and aggravation. They understand, on some level, that they should settle the case instead of fighting it out in court. On another level, however, they are unable to settle. Why? Emotions are too raw. They distrust each other. One or both want a day in court to prove that they are right. Feelings like these frequently prevent divorcing spouses from settling their cases before going to trial. And when they are able to settle the case, it is often just days, sometimes even moments, before the trial.
Why then and not before? The impending trial, which promises to be expensive and stressful and guarantees an uncertain result, creates an incentive for both parties to work out their problems. Both parties eventually realize that, with a settlement, they will be able to exercise some degree of control over the result. This is not so if a judge decides for them in court.
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