Going to trial is what happens when two parties cannot agree on 100% of the issues involved in the litigation. What is a trial? Trial is a final hearing so that a Court can make those decisions. This is why sometimes it can be beneficial for parties to settle outside of court – because settling outside of court gives each party the ability to customize their final order. A trial would put this into the hands of an objective Court.
Less than 10% of cases end up needing Final trial to resolve them. That means that a staggering 90% or so of all cases will settle before then. These are usually the cases with the most at stake – child custody and/or large amounts of money. Normally, rational people with good attorneys should be able to settle a case on their own. But, that is not always the case. Often times one of the parties may not act quite rationally. Or one (or both) attorneys may not be very competent, or won’t tell their clients what they don’t want to hear. Or sometimes, there are issues that just cannot be settled, such as when one parent wants to move far away with the kids and the other outright objects.
Now, going on a trial you have two options. It can be in front of a Judge or Jury. Jury trials are more expensive, and that can be a factor in choosing one. If one side is abler or willing to spend money on lawyers, they can ask for a Jury trial in an attempt to wear out their opponent financially. This tactic can be quite successful whether that is fair or not. There is an enormous amount of theorizing about which is better. But the answer always is – it depends. Be sure to consult with an experienced attorney about this issue, because it really can be important.
STEP 1 – FILE
STEP 2 – TEMPORARY ORDER
STEP 3 – DISCOVERY
STEP 4 – MEDIATION
STEP 5 – TRIAL