You have many questions when you are going through a divorce. Who will get the house? How will you work out child custody?

The biggest question has nothing to do with possessions or relationships. Should you try to settle the divorce yourself or go to court?

How important are time and money?

While a settlement may take a few weeks or months, going to trial can take a year or longer. A judge sets the timetable, based on the court calendar. You will have to prepare for your appearances and take time off from work.

You also will write a lot of checks to cover your court and legal costs. This is money that you could use to ease your transition to single life.

At the same time, a trial may benefit you if your partner is making unreasonable demands. He or she may want a greater share of the marital assets, for example. If you have a strong case, you can convince a judge to see important issues from your point of view.

How important are stress and emotion?

The longer the divorce process lasts, the more pressure it puts on you. You want to focus your energy on your relationships, especially with our children. Instead, stress forces you to concentrate on legal matters. Your job performance can suffer, too, as you pay more attention to your divorce.

Some people make the mistake of going to trial “to get even” or to “have their day in court.” By and large, courts do not care about your personal grievances with your spouse. They rely on the law to make their decisions.

How you divide assets, decide on custody and other issues will have a great impact on your life for decades. A careful consideration of all factors can provide peace of mind.

How can you protect your future?

Most couples want to work out a divorce themselves. Every divorce is different, though, due to various circumstances.

Weighing your alternatives before making a decision is key to ending your marriage.