A contested divorce should never be your first option. Court settlements lead to less money for both parties and strained relationships between your spouse and children.
Pennsylvania is a mutual consent state. This means you do not have to prove fault to get a divorce. When your marriage breaks down, it is in the best interest of both parties to settle it quickly and collaboratively.
Litigation is costly
Once you opt for a contested divorce, you have less chance to get what you want. Rather than rely on a judge, get as much consultation from professionals as possible. Hire a therapist for you and your spouse. Get appraisers to divide your assets and value them appropriately. If you do not have an accountant, find one specializing in property division. Finally, you want the right attorney who knows how to mediate.
Compromise leads to happiness
No one gets everything they want in the divorce. To avoid litigation, you will have to make allowances for your spouse. Create a list of priorities and rank your goals. Start with the most important goals and work with your attorney on obtaining them. An experienced divorce attorney will know how to negotiate with the other lawyer, but you might have to offer something in return. Keep your eye on the finish line, and do not fight over less critical assets.
When you settle a divorce out of court, both parties can come to an amicable agreement. Litigation often creates ongoing tensions and resentments that affect your relationships for years, especially if you have children. Try your best to resolve a divorce out of court before relying on litigation.