A divorce is a contested proceeding that starts by you or your spouse filing for divorce in court. It is similar to a lawsuit. Like any lawsuit, you may find that you can reach a complete agreement in the weeks or in the months after filing the divorce. If you reach a settlement, the court can schedule a time to present it and conclude your divorce in a very short hearing. A good attorney will always assess whether and how to negotiate a settlement early on during the divorce proceedings.
Most divorce proceedings do result in a settlement. Unfortunately, the nature of the litigation and the emotions involved may affect the amount of time and work it takes to come to that agreement. A good attorney assesses when to shift from working on negotiating an agreement to preparing instead for a contested court hearing on the issues you and your spouse cannot settle.