Do I have to go to court to get divorced?

One of the things that scares many people about getting divorced is the prospect of going to court. For many, a court is a strange, intimidating, place that they want to avoid if possible. This is entirely understandable.

The simple answer is that you don’t have to go to court to get divorced. If the divorce isn’t contested, and you and your spouse are able to agree all matters relating to arrangements for children and finances, then it is normally possible to avoid having to go to court.

At Netsquire we have seen both sides of the coin and we are not the kind of law firm that tries to introduce conflict into cases where there shouldn’t be conflict. However, sometimes cases do result in trial and having to litigate contested issues.

We believe in advocating for our clients and ensuring we stand up for what they’re entitled to under the law. That being said, we firmly believe divorce doesn’t have to be an angry battle with both parties yelling across the courtroom and we will always recommend mediation instead of litigation 100% of the time.

Here are the 2 most important reasons why we think you should consider going to court when thinking about divorce:

  • Most divorce litigation cases have no business being in court.

Cases that end up going to trial are the ones that have tried all there is to try to settle. In most cases, probably 90% of the cases that end up going to trial – which is only a very small percentage – are the ones where the parties are extremely adversarial.

If you already tried mediation, sitting down at a table at a four-way conference with your respective attorneys, and tried to come to an agreement, but you just cannot reach one. Then in those specific cases, a trial is more of a means to an end.

When you’ve reached a point where there just needs to be some closure, then you just need to get to court because it’s honestly in your best interest to not continue to be intertwined and entangled in this situation anymore.

  • Giving way to your emotions in a divorce often leads to unnecessary litigation.

There are cases that are special and present unique legal issues. Those are usually the minority of the cases that go to trial.

When we as attorneys get two people that cannot set aside their emotions long enough to recognize that they should be compromising it becomes a difficult situation.

When we must keep convincing you and pushing you to compromise it is a very hard place to be at. Bottom line there’s so few cases that ever really should be tried because of the issues themselves. It’s just usually because people hate each other that they end up in an emotion driven litigation that ultimately costs both parties an unnecessary amount of money.

Finally, we want to remind you that, the cost of litigating your divorce instead of resolving it through mediation can be financially devastating. The average litigated divorce in New Jersey costs approximately $10,000 to $20,000 and takes between 12 and 24 months. If your case does not settle, a Trial can cost $25,000 to $50,000 or more. No one knows your life like you do. We stress that you do not want a judge, who is a stranger to your life, to make decisions about how to resolve your divorce.

By going to mediation, you and your spouse have all the power to reach an agreement that you think is fair and reasonable under the circumstances. Also, remember that divorce in the court system is public. Anybody can sit in court and hear about your life. Divorce mediation is confidential, private and conducted behind closed doors.

If you want to start the divorce mediation process, schedule a . If you and your spouse are headed for divorce, do not spend all your money on a litigated divorce. Let us help you reach an agreement quickly and inexpensively. To learn more about mediation,

About the Author


John Nachlinger is a co-founder and managing attorney of Netsquire, a family law firm focused on streamlining divorces through effective mediation, settlement drafting, and court filing assistance. As a New Jersey Supreme Court Certified Matrimonial Law Attorney and Qualified Mediator, John guides couples toward equitable agreements without the cost and stress of litigation.

Recognized as a New Jersey Super Lawyer for over a decade, John’s client-focused approach aims to foster understanding during challenging transitions. With a background spanning top law journals, judicial clerkships, and boutique family law firms, John now applies his analytical skills to create workable solutions for all parties. His mediation services reshape the divorce journey by prioritizing compassion and compromise.

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