After they see the judge in chambers at a Settlement Conference, the attorneys relay to their clients the position of the judge.
The parties then go back to negotiations keeping in mint the judges statement as to what he is likely to find if they go to trial and the facts are as they were presented to him in chambers.
If one or both spouses are unwilling to accept the position of the judge or they irrationally feel that they are above the law, settlement negotiations will break down. The process then drags on and legal fees go up. A second conference in chambers with the judge will also be set before there is a trial.
Judges are loathe to see divorce actions go to trial. More than 90% of divorce actions end in settlement agreements. Judges will put great pressure on the attorneys to reach a settlement.
But there is another strong reason for the parties to settle. If they go to trial, after a few hours of testimony, a stranger will determine their future and the parties will have no control over what happens.
A good divorce attorney will carefully go over the risks with their client of going to trial. If you don’t believe your attorney is giving you this time, you need to wonder why. Trials lead to very high legal fees.
It is often safest, no matter how painful, to negotiate terms rather than leave your future in the hands of the judge. This is especially so where children are involved unless your spouse just will not be reasonable. Vicious fights over child custody are often the most expensive divorce actions.
If the parties cannot come to an agreement, and the court cannot strong-arm the attorneys into bringing them back to the table to reach an agreement, the case will go to trial.