Everyone – clients, lawyers, and judges – prefers to settle cases rather than try them. Settlements are faster, cheaper, and the only way the parties and their lawyers have any control over the ultimate outcome. But not every case can be settled. In fact, no divorce or custody case in Mississippi can be settled out of court in the typical sense. In even the simplest of cases – the parties agree to divorce, the division of property, and there are no children – the law requires at least one hearing where one of the parties must offer testimony. That’s not to say that the parties to a divorce cannot agree to certain matters and avoid having those matters argued at trial and decided by a Mississippi court. For example, the parties can agree to divorce, the division of marital property, and even a custodial arrangement in the event children are involved. However, any arrangement regarding custody in Mississippi must ultimately be approved by the court, which has the discretion to require testimony from the parents and others and which may totally disregard the proposed agreement. If hired to be your Mississippi divorce or child custody attorney, we will discuss and identify the issues in your case which can be settled, and which must go to trial.