I’m going to hit you with some truth: you do not want your divorce to go to trial.
Here’s why: financially, emotionally, and practically, it will cost you. It will cost you big time.
But if he’s done something wrong, how can that be?
For one thing, the judge can only divide the assets that you have. For another, no matter how he divides your assets, they will be divided, and you will have less than you had before the divorce. And that’s before you pay your attorney and he pays his attorney.
The only cases that should ever (and I do mean ever) go to trial are the ones where the parties absolutely cannot reach an agreement between each other. I don’t mean that its difficult to reach an agreement, or that, in order to reach an agreement, you’d have to give up something that you’d really rather not. None of these things are reasons to go to trial for the reasons I’ve already enumerated. You’ll have less than you started and, if you pay for a knock down drag out trial, you’ll have even less than the less you would have had if you just settled. Trial is only an option for people who are absolutely, positively unable to reach any sort of mutually acceptable compromise.
My advice to you: do not become one of those people.
You would do well to keep in mind that the law is what it is, and is probably not what you think it should be. The law is not really about your subjective view of fairness or justice. Accept this. Make it easier on yourself by accepting that some things just are what they are, and no amount of tears, stress, or angry text messages to your soon-to-be ex can change them. In fact, these things just hurt your case and make settlement less possible.
Remember: “settlement” is not a cop out. Settlement is a wonderful way to avoid trial, to keep your relationship with your ex as cordial as possible (if you have children, this is critically important), and to preserve as much of your assets as possible for the people who deserve to have them: you and your ex. Not your attorneys, not your paralegal, not the guardian ad litem, and not the court reporters. If your goals are to end up with as large of a share of the money and assets as possible, with the least amount of stress and anxiety on yourself and your children as possible, settlement is by far your best option. (Of course, that doesn’t mean that you just blindly accept his first offer!)
How do you “win” your divorce? Keep a level head. Listen to your attorney and follow his (or her) advice, whether you agree with it or not. Be willing to compromise, and accept that not everything will go the way you think it should. Come up with a plan for the future, have faith in people and, most of all, have faith in yourself.