More often than not, clients or potential clients come to us stating that they want to resolve things amicably.  It is probably one in 100 who say they want to fight to the end.  That said, "amicable" is in the eyes of the beholder and it may take some time, and maybe even some litigation, to get to that "amicable" result we know happens most of the time since, statistically, 98% of all divorce cases settle. 

A problem could occur if the other side believes that you will avoid the conflict at all costs and will not litigate, if needed.  Often, the dynamic in the marriage is that one side always backs down.  In fact, I was in a mediation recently where the other spouse was convinced that my client would back down and held firm to his unreasonable proposal, because "she always backs down." 

Moreover, just as there are clients that avoid conflict and will not litigate, even if it is to their detriment, there are lawyers out there, despite the fact that matrimonial law is a litigation practice, who will not try a case.  Now, I learned as a young lawyer that the best way to be able to settle a case is to be prepared to try the case.  Others may not have learned that lesson.

The reputation that someone wont try a case gets out there fast and spreads like wildfire.  What does the other side do in those cases, or in cases where they know that the other spouse will fold?  They wait them out and perhaps even threaten trial.  Why?  Because they know that someone will roll over or that the trial averse lawyer will strongly suggest that the unfair settlement be accepted, etc. 

While sometimes, you may take a little less or pay a little more to avoid the cost and risk of trial.  On the other end, there are probably few situations where rolling over simply to avoid a conflict is worth it.


Eric Solotoff is the editor of the New Jersey Family Legal Blog and the Co-Chair of the Family Law Practice Group of Fox Rothschild LLP. Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Matrimonial Lawyer and a Fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Attorneys, Eric practices in Fox Rothschild’s Roseland, New Jersey office though he practices throughout New Jersey. You can reach Eric at (973)994-7501, or