In the context of a divorce, litigants are emotionally entrenched in their positions, and they may think: How could the judge possibly not see that what my spouse is doing is wrong? Don’t they see that my spouse is an idiot? Oftentimes, a person going through a divorce believes that if he or she gets into the courtroom and tells the judge their version of the story, all of a sudden the lights, bells, and whistles are going to go off, and the judge will see their side and “get it.” It rarely works that way.
In this article, Debra Rubin writes that the court is overburdened with all the proceedings that come before it. More likely than not, the court has heard many versions of your story over the years, only with different names attached. Furthermore, judges are people, and they all come to these cases with their own personal biases. Those bells and whistles that you expect to go off in a trial? More likely than not, you will be disappointed.
If you and your spouse go to trial, it will only serve to increase the hostility between you. If you have children together, you are still going to have to work together going forward. It will be much harder to establish or to re-establish a cordial and civilized relationship if you have hashed out all of your dirty laundry in court. If you settle, at least you have a starting point that you’ve both agreed upon, even if it’s not the ideal.